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WOLF: Hockey seems a little out of place in the summer

COLUMN: Stanley Cup final should wrap up near the end of May
Florida Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, right, stops a shot on goal by Edmonton Oilers centre Connor McDavid (97) during the third period of Game 1 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Finals, Saturday, June 8, 2024, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Michael Laughlin)

Summer officially begins on June 20 this year.

According to the solstice glitterati anyway. Longest day of the year and all that good stuff we learned in school but I’ve long forgotten and replaced with useless sports statistics.

Quick, ask me how many passing yards Dan Marino had in 1984. (5,084, with 48 touchdowns).

As of this writing, if you looked out the window, or wandered outside into the glorious Vancouver Island sunshine (I know, the rain is suppose to be back) it feels like summer.

Warmer temperatures, folks actually at the beach, others on the hunt for an ice cream, the smell of Hawaiian Tropic annually making me scroll through my phone trying to find ‘Wave Babies’.

Things like BeachFest and Canada Day are just around the corner. In Parksville, sandcastles will soon return.

The one thing that always seems wildly out of place this year is hockey.

The Edmonton Oilers are currently taking on the Florida Panthers in the quest to raise Lord Stanley’s prize chalice.

If the best-of-seven Cup final series goes a full seven games, it will end on June 24.

That’s crazy late.

Actually into summer.

I love me some hockey and would have played 365 days a year when I was a kid but at some point, it just seems a little offside.

You should not (unless you’re playing ball hockey, you’re at hockey school or you reside in Florida) be arriving at the rink in shorts and a tank top.

A look back at some of the finals when I was a kid showed them ending in mid-to-late May.

That seems about right.

I get they’re stretched out for TV and there’s an extra playoff round.

But c’mon, we’re already well into ball season. Do we really need hockey this late?

It’s even worse these days, since you can’t escape the scores. Everyone has a phone and up-to-date information.

There used to be almost an unspoken agreement between everyone at the ballpark to not blurt out the hockey score until everyone could get home and watch it for themselves.

Another nasty side effect of summer hockey is the smell.

Anyone who’s ever left their gear in the car to bake in the sunshine can attest the stank may never disappear. Like some sort of Seinfeld episode, you may just have to sell the car.

Mostly, hockey should mean being in a frozen rink at 5:30 in the morning, wiping the sleep out of your eyes as you watch your kids practise.

Or trudging to the car in the snow.

There’s definitely something to be said for having the barbecue going and watching the game on TV on the deck but it just feels a little dirty. That should be for baseball or golf.

I’ve also found that my interest (if my team is out) wanes considerably in direct correlation with the temperature outside.

Minor hockey and junior hockey can mostly wrap things up by the end of May. Would be nice if the NHL could do the same.

Let me know who wins.


PQB News/VI Free Daily editor Philip Wolf welcomes your questions, comments or story ideas. He can be reached at 250-905-0029 or via email at

Philip Wolf

About the Author: Philip Wolf

I’ve been involved with journalism on Vancouver Island for more than 30 years, beginning as a teenage holiday fill-in at the old Cowichan News Leader.
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