Happy New Year, Canes friends! 2017 was a roller coster for most people inside and outside of their hockey lives. Hopefully 2018 brings you all prosperity, happiness, and dare I say hockey in the Spring in Raleigh? Before the Canes hit the ice for the first time in 2018, lets take a look at some resolutions we could all make as fans of this franchise.
1. Don’t Let Hockey Dictate Your Happiness
From time-to-time we have all fallen victim to this. Hockey is an incredible game and fantastic entertainment. It can make you feel things in places that you never thought a game could. Whether you play, spectate, or both, the game can be an uplifting force on your life. However, if hockey begins to drag you down, upset you, or becomes a negative influence on you in anyway, take a step back. Take a break. Don’t watch a game for a week or two. Everyone here at CBTS has done it at some point this season. Sometimes your personal life will get so stressful that the last thing you need is to spend two and half hours watching a hockey game that makes you upset because your favorite team didn’t get the ideal result. Hockey is supposed to be fun and entertaining. Don’t let it drag you down.
2. Understand that It’s just 1 of 82
When the final horn sounds, and the game is over, don’t freak out over the result. Whether its a 5-2 Win for the Canes or an 8-1 shellacking from another up and coming franchise, its just 1 game in an 82 game season. One win doesn’t clinch a playoff spot. One loss doesn’t eliminate you from playoff contention. Celebrate the good games, for sure, and don’t be afraid to be critical of the bad ones. Just be sure to not lose your minds over one game.
3. Don’t Be Hateful Online
This resolution stems from the previous two. A lot of times we allow the toxicity of our personal lives bleed into our online interaction with people we don’t even know all that well. It’s even more common for the toxicity of a fandom to infect online interactions following a disappointing performance. It’s okay to be disappointed, but that disappointment is no excuse to be rude or hateful to other people online. It’s not an excuse to say hateful things about a particular player, coach, or general manager. Odds are the guy who gets paid a few million dollars to play a game is well aware of how bad his performance was, and has already engaged in a more detailed critique of it than you (the couch GM) could fit in a couple of 280 character tweets. Don’t let hockey be the reason you make an ass of yourself and take personal jabs at another person who is just trying to enjoy the game or make a living playing it. None of this is limited to just online interactions; it goes for attendance at games as well. Its fun to chirp and trash talk at games, but don’t let the banter get out of hand. Be a decent person.
4. Understand That Your Aren’t the Coach or GM for a Reason
This one applies to everyone, myself included. Yes, it is fun to speculate what trades a team could make, and what roster moves could possibly lead to a better on-ice product, but if you were capable of doing that job, you would have a job in hockey somewhere, and you wouldn’t be sitting on the couch uploading a Gardiner and Kapanen for Aho, Slavin, and a 1st trade proposal to CapFriendly or HFBoards (Seriously Leafs fans?). Everyone is a critic, for sure, but understand that you probably aren’t being paid to make decisions for a professional sports team for a reason. There was a good reason GMRF didn’t pull the trigger on a Hanifin, Zykov, and the 12th pick for Duchence trade at the draft. Hanifin has 20 points in 38 games. Zykov is leading the AHL in scoring. That 12th pick ended up becoming Martin Necas. Matt Duchene only has 16 points in 37 games. Get it now? Unless the GM in question is Peter Chiarelli or Marc Bergevin, odds are you wouldn’t do a better job.
5. Don’t Feel So Entitled
Let me assure you, whether you are a season ticket member who goes to all 41 home games, or an average fan who attends 5-10 games a year, the franchise doesn’t owe you anything. The money you pay for a ticket doesn’t even come close to putting a dent in the salaries of the players, coaches, management, trainers, equipment managers, the marketing department, the public relations department, or anyone involved with the franchise. Being a super-fan does not entitle you to giveaways or an all-access pass to the locker room for post-game interviews. It also does not entitle you to getting a picture or an autograph from your favorite player when you run into him downtown. Remember, these athletes are people who are just trying to live their lives too. Their lives don’t revolve around you because you bought their jersey.
I’m sure there are more resolutions we could all make as fans, but to me, these seem like the most important ones for us all to make as the calendar turns and the season moves on. If you have any suggestions for other resolutions, please share them! The Canes ended 2017 on a roll, and hopefully that carries over into a successful 2018 for the team. Enjoy the ride, friends.