WIKIWAC: with Kid Kawartha! Want to contribute your own for a chance to win a t-shirt? Details here!
If you want to understand hockey, I have a simple (not exclusive) solution- park your ass in pretty much any community in Canada and just start conversations. You will, sooner or later, start learning things about hockey whether you like it or not. This is actually part of our Bill or Rights.
To prove my thesis, I’m going to choose the largest city near where I grew up in eastern Ontario- (or as we call it, Ontario’s armpit) Brockville and show you what I mean.
Brockville is a boring-ass town. Very, very white and very wealthy. Lot’s of old English money that retired there from Montreal and just sits there, counting itself. As you can see by the map I’ve included below, most map makers actually consider it a communist city. It’s also a sexist place, as it was originally named Elizabethtown after you-know-who, but then they renamed it after Sir Isaac Brock, a violent, red-faced English army guy whose claim to fame is the “Hero and Savior of Upper Canada” (I kid you not) for kicking the crap out of the Americans across the St. Lawrence River for years. Coincidentally, the same thing has been happening on ice rinks ever since.
Ok, enough of humiliating America and on to the real important thing- hockey. Do you know where not one, but two of the greatest goalie helmet painters in the world reside? That’s right, the town, I mean city of Brockville. Check it out-
Cool, eh? Masks for such famous guys as Cujo, Brodeur, Luongo, Hextall and Potvin and other, lesser “goalies” too- Lalime, Gigeure, Trevor Kidd and many others.
Second, one of the greatest defencemen of all time, ALL TIME I TELL YOU, not only played for the Brockville Braves Junior B team, but he actually owns the team and took them all the way to the final four for junior hockey in Canada, the Royal Bank Cup, in 2010. He’s amazing, and not just because I grew up playing soccer with him and watching him play hockey in my crappy little town or Cardinal, Ontario. He is now coaching a really shitty major junior team called the Kingston Frontenacs under the great Doug “Killer” Gilmour and biding his time until he gets the call to become the assistant coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs. It will be glorious, I tell you. Some other guys named Wayne Simmonds, Paul Maclean and Larry Robinson (AKA the greatest moustache of all time) also played for the Braves and their racist, racist logo.
In fact, if you ever accidentally visit Brockville, you will find out their is literally nothing else to do from September until May except watch or play hockey, as the Brockville Tourism site indicates with 7 pages of choices-
Isn’t that awesome? I hear the boating in the St. Lawrence and the 1,000 Islands during the summer is pretty good, too, but you always have to careful of those Americans, still trying to get some revenge by throwing potato salad and boxes of doughnuts at your boat.
So, that’s your lesson for today- I challenge you to take out a map of Canada and try it for yourself. Put your finger down on any place (watch out you don’t put your finger on a beaver!!!) and then use the Internet to learn what it has to say about hockey, the greatest game of all.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this little info session and look forward to seeing you visit sometime- ask for me when you cross the border.