We all have our favorite players. It can be very emotional when they leave whether through, trades, re-signing somewhere else, waivers, or just leaving (see Ilya Kovalchuk). This summer, Daniel Alfredsson chose to leave the Ottawa Senators and sign with the Detroit Red Wings. He thought he had a better chance at the cup was his reasoning. Alfie was a beloved captain and fan favorite. Most fans I know, expected him to re-sign for another year. This news hit many hard. People turned on Alfie just like that. Whether he gets boos or applause when he returns to play in Ottawa, remains to be seen. Ilya Kovalchuk, also decided to shock fans around the NHL by deciding to retire from the NHL and return home to play for SKA St. Petersburg. Very few Devils fans saw this coming. I noticed many people talking about “burning” his jersey. Would you go to that extreme? I wouldn’t.
Losing your favorite player can be very hard. I remember two years ago when the Minnesota Wild traded Brent Burns. I was mostly prepared for that happening as rumors began to swirl weeks before. I was not prepared for what came after the draft, however. I have always loved Martin Havlat and was so excited when he signed with the Wild. Loved his skating and his love for the game. I was on vacation at our family cabin when BOOM…My cell phone started lighting up with tweets and text messages informing me that Marty had been traded to the San Jose Sharks. My reaction was dumbfounded. I admit to crying at the news. I also admit to screaming not so nice words in the Wild’s direction. The irony is, is that he was traded for another favorite of mine, Dany Heatley. I was not focused on that though. I remained “mad” at the Wild for over a month. I wasn’t angry with Marty. I was angry at the club. But things calmed down and I found myself going to games, buying shirseys and a Heatley jersey. I will always miss Marty but being a fan of hockey allows me to cheer for him wherever he is, albeit quietly when it is against my team. I started on focusing on having my other favorite, Dany Heatley, here. I would never burn a jersey. To me, that is sac religious.
My fellow blogger , Emma, told me “I can honestly tell you it was the hardest I’ve cried in a long time” upon hearing the Kovalchuk news. Like me, she received notifications and was slow to believe it. She just hopes that his home country will treat him as well.
Another fellow blogger, Elaine, was a big fan of Dustin Byfuglien. She owns a shirt that says “I like Big Buffs’ and even changed the words from “Baby Got Back” to “Baby Got Buff”. Needless to say, she was devastated when he went to Atlanta. She took the day off and blasted her song all day.
The best is when a player we love makes us come to love and appreciate hockey as a sport. This happened with my friend, Stephanni. She started watching for a certain player and kept following him from team to team. Her love for hockey began to grow and today she couldn’t love it more. I am going to end this blog with a snippet of the email she wrote to me. I think it best represents this blog. Stephanni writes ” I think the decision comes natural for fans. We all get hooked into hockey for one reason or another and there ends up being that first player who catches your eye and makes you love your team. That one person who exemplifies every reason why you love being a fan and who you find yourself looking up to for the way they carry themselves on and off the ice. Their drive, loyalty and dedication to this sport is an inspiration to anyone who is able to watch.” Enough said. Thank you girls!
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