Dog Days?

In baseball, the month of August is commonly referred to as the dog days as teams roll past the 100 game mark but still have miles to go before the season ends at the end of September.

I am not sure what the correct term would be for hockey fans, but for me, it is somehow the most exciting and frustrating month of the season.

If you follow every level of hockey as a fan, the season basically rolls from about Labor Day of one year until late June or really, July 1 of the next.

Just a week after one season ends, I believe the entry draft and opening of free agency is officially the start of a new season. Especially if you happen to cheer for a team that missed the post season or made an early exit. The excitement of better things to come and enough moves through the month of July generates enough water cooler chat to keep things going.

If you are involved with a junior hockey team the season ends in early or late April, but like the pros, the following season begins almost instantly with Showcase camps and tryouts for all of the various levels of Junior teams.

To me, the release of the upcoming season schedule is the same as receiving new textbooks on the first day of school. The thrill of having a hard copy — proof that the upcoming season has been planned and is ready to unfold. If your like me, you pore over a schedule, checking out dates of favored match ups or games against hated rivals.

After that though, it seems there is a certain waiting period. I just recently tore the July page off of my calendar and realized I am one short month away from the return of my favorite game. But man, do those days seem to go slow.  Like a kid counting down the days to Christmas, I eagerly await a chance to see the ice going down on the cement floor, the players rolling back into town, training camp for my favorite pro team.

And also like a child awaiting his annual visit from St. NIck, marking off those days to the start of the hockey season, getting one day closer, makes that excitement and frustration mount with each passing day.

Actually though, when you think of it…having that long wait in August is a good thing, because five minutes after September finally arrives, it will be February and we’ll be rolling into the do or

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