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Junior Hockey Your NHL Lockout Supplement

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Junior Hockey, Your NHL Lockout Supplement September 17, 2012 10:07 AM

The National Hockey League lockout, however long it might last, (and it may last a lot longer than some fans think) will separate the true hockey fans from the NHL fans. Anyone who is a connoisseur of a hockey can appreciate it at any level.

The absence of the NHL for the next few weeks, perhaps months, might cause a scramble for a hockey fix. Sure, the NHL is more accessible than junior hockey. It is easy to find on TV, if you have NBC Sports Network, but it’s not here right now, and it may be gone for quite a while.

I can not think of a better way for fans to get their fix than by supporting their local junior hockey programs. With the expansion of junior hockey over the last ten years, nearly every city in the country has a team within driving distance, and if not, then nearly every junior hockey game being layed in the world is broadcast on line. If youre lucky enough to live in Canada, you will have your pick of the Ontario Hockey League, Western Hockey League and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League games to watch while the NHL and NHLPA decide who gets to play in the larger portion of the sandbox.

Now is a time when all of the junior hockey leagues need to be marketing and educating their local communities on what junior hockey is all about. It doesnt matter what "Tier" a team may be classified in while this lockout is taking place. Teams that are active in their markets should see a jump in attendance this fall. Marketing the team is just a small part of the process, the key will be to market the game itself.

The true fan, the one jonesing for big hits, nasty dangles and dirty goals will be looking to scratch that itch. For the purest of fans there is no cure, there is only the days in between our trip through the gates to smell the Zamboni fumes. Junior Hockey, as a community has an opportunity to show the world that there is more to the game than the NHL.

When thinking of something to do this Friday or Saturday night, grab a neighbor or a friend who has never seen an NHL game live. Take them down to the local Junior game, get your fix, and show them that the game is still a game, and its not all about money. You may just find yourself enjoying the game for what it has always been, fun.

By Joseph Kolodziej

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