Players and Families,
So much has changed since last week’s newsletter. On Thursday, the NHL (like NBA, MLS and MLB) suspended play. In similar fashion, USA Hockey announced that it would be canceling the high school, youth, girls, adult and sled National Championships. Soon thereafter, the Junior leagues followed suit suspending or canceling their respective seasons. Now we sit and watch as spring hockey, camps and combines begin to fall.
It wasn’t long after the announcements when the phone began to ring. Players were looking for answers, for direction, for anything! This was met with an equal number of calls from coaches and teams asking the very same. Suddenly, the standard recruitment means employed by both player families and teams alike were no more. I was overwhelmed. I had players looking for teams and teams looking for players. It was a tumultuous situation and I desperately needed clarity if I was going to navigate it effectively.
On Friday, once more (just as she has done on numerous occasions throughout my life) I was comforted when I read the words from significant person in my life. I have known DJ since college. She is quite possibly the greatest person I will ever know.
DJ is not hockey mom. She came from a football family. Her father Ed, played Split End for Bowling Green State University and lead the Falcons in receptions in the late sixties. After a difficult divorce, it is up to her to now raise three boys. Her oldest, still recovering from surgery on both of his knees, has hopes of following his grandfather’s gridiron footsteps.
As if, life wasn’t complicated enough, the reality and uncertainty of this pandemic made its way to DJ and her family. In addition to her career, she must be the coach and captain of her household team (she’s also the president, usher, GM, referee, bus driver, cheerleader and pretzel vendor!). She continues providing inspiration, hope and sanity to her three young men. All they want to do is play with their friends. She has to tell them that as much as she would like for them to be able to see their friends and their teammates they cannot. It is not safe. DJ and her all-stars may not be in any immediate danger themselves but they understand that they must protect those who are at risk. They know this because DJ is a great mother. So play dates and practices are tabled.
In her own frustration, she was able to see through all the madness and she found a way to find a peaceful place- a happy moment to remember, to work toward and to hang on to. The following is from DJ’s post and I want to share it with all of you:
THE HAPPY MOMENTS
“Earlier this week I calmly stocked up on meat and enough supplies for about a month as this pandemic will pass. The one bright spot I take from the current situation is this... it is slowing us all down. With nowhere to go and no events taking place, now maybe we will just call that friend we haven’t in a while, play a board game at night with our kids instead of going to a sporting event, maybe FaceTime our parents that we don’t see as often as we’d like because we are so busy with our kids and our own activities. I apologize to those I haven’t had the chance in 2020 to connect with. Just a mom doing the best I can to stay afloat in the day to day. If you are on my Facebook, I consider you a friend and know I am grateful for you. If you need anything (food etc) and I can help in any way, please don’t hesitate to personal message me. Be safe and hope everyone continues to share the happy moments on here.”
She is right. It’s these little things, these “happy moments” we need to cherish. We cannot always count on the world to make sense. But can find the happy moments that make sense to us. This is for you parents caught in the struggle. -trying to find your way. -seeking the calm amid the chaos. DJ helped me to remember what is most important and hopefully it will do the same for you.
Calling family isn’t canceled.
Going outside isn’t delayed.
Laughing at a joke isn’t suspended.
Listening to music isn’t prohibited.
Reading a book isn’t deferred.
Writing friends isn’t postponed.
These are difficult times but they are not impossible. We know not what each new day will bring. We never really do. But with every dawn we have hope. We may not have hockey but in spirit we still have each other. “Share the happy moments”.
GETTING PLAYERS HOME
Did you catch Stephen Heisler’s article from earlier this week? (https://www.juniorhockey.com/news/news_detail.php?news_id=93912) In response to all the league closures resulting in unplanned cross-country travel of players, a number of members of JuniorHockey.com's Facebook Discussion Group have stepped up in an effort to assist players on their journey home. If you need help getting your player home or want to help a player please join the facebook group here:
We always brag about hockey is a close-knit group and families stepping up to help in this capacity is proof. Thank you to everyone helping and please travel safely.
What are your summer plans? Get a head start on the coming season and your Junior / Collegiate career. Sign up for the Great Western Futures Super Camp. The Futures Super Camp is the premier place for players to gain exposure among Tier 1, Tier 2 and Canadian Jr. A. coaches as well as NCAA Division I and NCAA Division III coaches. Hockey players born between 2001 and 2008 are encouraged to apply today at:
What does your JuniorHockey.com Profile look like? Update your page and let everyone know what you are you doing this week, what are you doing to get better? Keep them updated! Don't have a profile yet? Go get one, it's completely free. #GetKnown
We want to hear from you. If there are any questions, concerns, or if you just want to have a conversation, please feel free to contact us directly. Good Luck and Great Hockey!