Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas in the rinks

The Glamorous NHL life takes a hit this time of year. Don’t get me wrong, this is a great job and a wonderful life. I owe everything I have and the life I have because of this game and this business and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. But this is the time of year when you have to make the sacrifices to live the NHL life. While many families are together today waiting for Christmas and doing that last minute shopping, we are here in New York in our hotel rooms doing the homework needed to broadcast tonight’s Rangers-Senators game. Right after the game we will fly home for family time on the 24th and 25th and then its back on a plane Boxing Day morning for Buffalo. Then its home right after the game for a visit from the Islanders on Thursday. On Friday I’ll get to catch my son’s first game in the Bell Capital Cup and then it’s on a plane to Calgary for a HNIC game on Saturday between the Ducks and Flames. After the game I am hopping on a red eye flight home to try and catch my son’s playoff games in the Bell Capital Cup should they make it that far.

It gets no easier on New Years Eve. We will be in Washington for a New Years Day game against the Capitals. It’s not a great family schedule for the Holiday season, but that’s the price for all of the wonderful benefits of this great job. During the summer when we have all that time off to see your wife and children each day it seems to be a fair trade off. It just makes you wonder if the NHL schedule maker has a family when you see the schedule Ottawa and other teams have over the holidays.

My complaining is done. All things considered I know I have nothing to complain about. There are doctors, nurses, police officers, fire fighters and many others who have the same schedule but don’t get to spend their lives in NHL rinks and I understand how fortunate we are.

My hope is that all of you have a very safe and happy holiday. Cherish all the gifts you get. The most important ones are not under the tree. They are the ones in their pajamas in front of it.

See you at the rink.