Becoming A Hockey Fan

Normally when discussing hockey on the ranch, we’re talking more about what comes from the business end of a cow, but Monday I told ya a bit about Saturday’s Nashville Predators match-up with the St Louis Blues. The game was awesome and meanwhile, I am catching on to this whole hockey fan thing. I know that I’m the same height as Shea Weber (Preds Captain) at 6’4 and that a hockey game in Nashville is more than just the game. I’m a long ways from knowing the rule book (try giving this thing a read) but Dummies.com is giving me the 411 on the basics.

Suter!

I’ve already picked out my favorite player. Ryan Suter, N0.20, is from Madison Wisconsin. He is an alternate captain and defenseman for the Preds. His father and uncle played in the NHL and Ryan has even been an alternate captain on the U.S. Olympic Silver medal team. Defense is about the only spot I’m good at in sports, so I gotta like that, and he’s a lefty shooter, so there’s another strong point! Plus, Suter has an appreciation for agriculture; even owns his own farm back in Wisconsin. This video highlights his appreciation for farm life.

Here are a few fun facts I learned from the NHL site:

  • Ice is approximately 3/4″ of an inch thick and is usually chilled at 16 degrees fahrenheit. The thicker the ice, the softer and slower it becomes.
  • The puck is made of vulcanized rubber, weighing in at six ounces and is three inches in diameter. Pucks are frozen before entering play to make them bounce resistant.
  • A Hat Trick happens when a player scores 3 times in a row during a game. When a player scores his third goal of a game, fans usually throw hats on the ice. Rumor has it that a Toronto haberdasher gave players in the 1940s free hats if they would score three goals in a game. The term however, probably evolved from cricket. A natural hat trick is when a player scores three goals in a game, in a row. That is to say that no other player on either team scores in between.

There are a few farmers from up North who have been willing to lend some advice for this new hockey fan.

  • Will Bergmann (Twitter, Blog) is a farmer, photographer in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada (North of Minnesota for my peers lacking in Canadian geography) who has recently started blogging about farm life and has some great thoughts (and photos) to share.
  • Joe Dickenson (Twitter, Web) is another Canadian farmer from Oil Springs, Ontario (between Lakes Erie and Huron) who raises cattle and is well versed is proper hockey terms.
  • Paul Hortenstine (Twitter) (Blackhawks fan) and Robin McLean (Twitter) (Flyers fan) are two other hockey fans that I’m probably not giving enough credit for their love of the game.
  • And I have to give Janice Person (Twitter, Blog) a shout out for being a sports enthusiast with a similar interest in hockey. I think one day we’ll have to start a #hockeychat for Southerners new to the sport and invite a few of our Canadian friends to help with the proper terminology (i.e. game vs. match).

The thing all these hockey fans have in common is that they all seem pretty passionate about the sport. It ought to be fun learning, despite my Southern roots and rarely seeing snow on the ground for more than a day.

Where’s the other hockey fans out there?

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