The NHL exhibition season has begun, which means in some sense, a new year of hockey has finally arrived. So it’s apparently time to come up with a few New Year’s resolutions — those little things we could all do to make ourselves better fans.
After all, is there anyone in the hockey world who can really claim to already be perfect? Oh, right, this guy. Man, he ruins everything. I hate him. [Adds “stop being jealous of perfect people” to personal resolutions list.]
But the rest of us still have room for improvement, and now seems like as good a time as any to work on it. So here are a few suggested New Year’s resolutions for hockey fans to consider. Pick one or two. Pick them all. Or pick none of them and just berate me in the comments. [Adds “stop being thin-skinned about the comments” to personal resolutions list.]
Let’s try to go easy on the steroid speculation
It’s an Olympic year, which means any players picked to go to Sochi will have to be drug tested. And let’s just say that IOC drug testing is slightly more comprehensive than the NHL’s system.
So if you were an NHL player who dreamed of playing in Sochi but happened to be dabbling in the occasional PED use, you’d probably think twice about continuing that this year. And that fact will no doubt lead to all sorts of rumors and speculation for any potential Olympians who get off to a slow start this season.
We went through this four years ago — Alexander Ovechkin was a popular target — and there’s no doubt the subject will come up again this year. Under its current testing program, the NHL has suspended a grand total of one player for PED use. In a league in which strength and endurance are crucial, common sense says that somebody out there must be getting away with something.
But while there’s little doubt that some players probably are cheating, it’s also true that everyone goes through an occasional slump. So when some NHL star struggles through October, let’s let him get a week or two into November before we go full Pujols.