I get it that at the professional level, playing hockey is more about earning a living than it is for the love of the game. But at the grassroots level and up to and including junior hockey, methinks the game should always be played for the love and the passion of it.
The way I see it, any kid between the age of 5 and 20 who is not playing the game at an organized level for the love of it should just hang up the skates.
The financial cost to play hockey does not come cheap. The time that the majority of coaches — volunteer or otherwise — put in above and beyond the call of duty cannot be measured and should never be taken for granted.
Parents fork out anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars a year for kids to play hockey. And if the kids are having fun and loving the experience, that is great.
But if the kids are just going through the motions, not listening to their coaches and just wasting their parents money and time on something they do not care about, then they should walk away from competitive hockey.
I have watched a lot of minor and midget and junior level hockey over time and I have seen some kids who seem to care little about playing the game.
I have heard from coaches at the minor, midget and junior levels who tell me that they care more and take more pride in our great game than some of their players do. And that is really sad.
A player does not have to have elite talent to work hard, listen to his or her coach and play for the love of the game. But players who don’t care and who are wasting their parents money and their coaches time should simply do what is right for all concerned and skate away from competitive hockey.
I am not pointing fingers at a particular player or players and I am not talking about any town in particular.
I am just talking about a love for the game and the respect for the parents and the coaches that goes with it.
End of story.