The great broadening appeal of hockey might have started in the early ’70s when guys over 35 wanted to re-live their youth and started Old Timers hockey leagues, which spread across the country as quick and slick as flooded ice.
It was great at the beginning because we old guys could score increasingly demanded ice time at reasonable hours. But we knew our days were numbered.
After a few years, with increasingly popular leagues, we started suiting up when we should have been in pjs and our long come-downs after the game would leave us wide-eyed when the bed-side alarm went off.
Well, those are going to be the good old days. The real Battle of the Blades has begun.
Pickless, padded women want at it, too and while for years we have effectively shunted them aside the courts are not going to be quite so understanding. Increasingly women are being given the ice times thought to be the right reserved only for male warriors.
This article in the Globe and Mail, Women demand access to the national sport by two writers whose names would look interesting on the back of a hockey sweater, is, I suspect, the beginning of a deluge on the subject.
You could see it coming: hockey, like love, is way too good a game to be wasted on the young … and then aging men. Women know a good thing when they see it. And now they’re eyeing the better ice times which is going to put a lot of grumbling guys outside in the cold … literally: still chasing the puck but increasingly asking themselves ‘why?’