As CBA talks continue on between the NHL and the Players Association, the possibility of a lockout is becoming greater and greater. An offseason without hockey is bad enough for fans to deal with, let alone an entire season. With no games to watch and no hockey to discuss, fans are going to be at a loss for what to do to fill up their free time. In order to help those lost and forlorn fans get through a potential lockout period, here is a list of various ways to stay occupied during the long, long non-season.
Write angry letters to Gary Bettman: He may not read them – okay, face it, he definitely won’t be reading them – but channeling all of your emotions over losing hockey for a season into angry prose is a better alternative than going to Bettman’s house and burning the logo of your favorite team into his lawn. Also, there’s much smaller of a chance that you’d be arrested for writing letters; as cool as it may sound to get arrested for your love of hockey, it’s really not that cool.
Watch football: With only one game a week for each team (and one week off!), football is a great sport to get into if you’re really not looking to commit. It’s generally pretty easy to pick up and follow, even if you’ve never watched a game before, and if you can’t follow it, chances are that someone in your household will be able to explain it to you. If you like Scott Hartnell, you’ll love Troy Polamalu.
Learn to knit: If you’ve got the shakes because you’re going through severe hockey withdrawal, then anything involving needles is not the hobby for you. But if you can keep it steady, you could wind up with enough team scarves, gloves and beanies to dress your family and everyone on your favorite squad by the time next season rolls around.
Grow a lockout beard: It’s just like growing a playoff beard, except with the seasons switched. Your beard will be a nice way to keep warm in the cold winter months, and it will also be a good security blanket to cling to as you struggle to find some sense of purpose and meaning in your hockey-less life.
Take up curling/Become a curling aficionado: It’s kind of like hockey, right? Except, with brooms? Hey, it’s enough to qualify as an Olympic sport, so it should be enough to distract you. Come 2014, you’ll be the most knowledgeable curling fan on the block. Hell, you might even have enough time to make an Olympic curling team!
Put your heart meds on backorder: Without overtime, shootouts, and dicey goaltending efforts to worry about, your heart will get some time to rest. Put your meds on backorder and take the time to get yourself in shape so you’re in much better shape whenever hockey makes its triumphant return. We love you, hockey, but damn if you aren’t somewhat harmful to our health.