As it does every year, the off season has well and truly arrived, friends. The Cup has been awarded, the parade has already happened, Corey Crawford has already cursed in front of national television and like 50,000 fans, the Draft is looming large, and hockey fans across the world are left wondering what to do with all this free time they suddenly have available.
Who knows? You may have been planning for this all season. Maybe you’ve kept a running list of all the things you’d have been doing if you weren’t glued to your TV/computer/ipad screen watching hockey. If you have, this list probably isn’t for you. But hey, you might run out of things before the end of the summer, so feel free to bookmark it for later.
For the rest of you, you may be facing feelings of sadness and confusion. You may be feeling directionless, hopeless, and joyless. That’s perfectly normal, friends. We’ve all been there. Bring it in, let’s hug it out.
I’m hugging my monitor, loves. It’s kinda weird. I’m getting some looks. (I’m at work.)
Do you feel a little better now? Let’s go through this list of suggestions together, shall we?
1. Mainline a show on Netflix.
How many times has this happened to you? You’re sitting in the breakroom at work and everyone is talking about this great show they’ve been watching and you can’t participate because three times a week you’re watching the game. I mean, there’s basically hockey every night, right? Who needs scripted television. Summer time is your time, friend. Hopefully you’ve kept a list of all the shows you should have been watching all along. (Is Orphan Black on it? It’s on mine.)
2. Get 8 hours of sleep.
This is never gonna happen for me, but it could for you! It’s hard during the season, especially if you’re a European fan (shout out to you brave soldiers) or are otherwise outside your team’s time zone. Oilers games are pretty brutal when I try to watch them, or when the Stars go west. You’ve got no excuses in the off season, friends. If you’re not getting 8 hours it’s your own poor choices! (She says, nodding off at her desk on the 4 hours she got last night.)
3. Come up with OTHER excuses to get out of doing things in the evening that you don’t particularly want to do.
It helps if you brainstorm a list of things beforehand so you’re not caught on the spot, right? Hockey is so convenient sometimes. (Not to be used for weddings or funerals, guys, okay?)
4. Watch baseball.
Like, I’m totally kidding with this one, who watches this sport.
5. Pick a project or hobby that will take exactly three months to complete.
The timing on this can be difficult so you may end up having to finish next off season, or you may end up finishing sometime mid July. Timing is hard, I know. Suggestions: knitting, scrapbooking the previous season, or the careful cultivation of a bamboo plant that you bought at the grocery store.
6. Rewatch previous seasons.
This would be especially beneficial to newer fans. Sure, it’s not quite as interesting as watching a new game, but that takes some of the stress out of it, right? Hopefully? Plus subscriptions to the NHL Vault are super cheap.
7. Research players for your fantasy team next season so you’re not stuck on draft day picking based on feelings.
That’s how you end up with Nathan Beaulieu and Sam Gagner on your team. There may be seasons where that’s gonna work out for you, but probably not, friends. Probably not.
8. Play a video game.
But not, like, Mario Kart. (I mean, you can play Mario Kart, but what I’m really suggesting here is something truly time consuming.) Something that, once you’ve beaten it the first time, provides almost endless opportunities for variations and future playthroughs. For instance: Mass Effect. (Stay tuned for my Mass Effect commercial.)
9. Read hockey romance novels with the Two Bearded Ladies.
It’s our summer reading program! That we’re already behind on. We’re not ONLY reading romance novels, but they’re so much fun that we haven’t been able to stop so far. I do have some nonfiction lined up, so that’s coming. Eventually.
10. Talk to your loved ones.
If they’re still talking to you after you ignored them in favor of hockey all season. Just getting the conversation started can be kind of difficult, so we have these suggestions: “So, you have a baby now. When did that happen?” “I saw you got married on facebook. Was I there? I mean, it was lovely?” “I was sorry to eventually hear of the untimely passing of your beloved pet frog.”
Hopefully these suggestions keep you occupied enough that you forget that you aren’t doing what you really want to be doing. Hopefully these suggestions can fill you with enough purpose and meaning to make it through to October, or at least training camp. Which, hey! Is coming up in . . . 90ish days??
Enjoy your off season, friends!