Being a Ranger fan is what I live for during the NHL season. I watch every game, studying systems and commenting from the couch. As most Ranger fans, I feel a part of this team. I get upset when they lose, joyful when they win and grow my own beard out in the playoffs. I live for this team.
Ever since my dad laced my skates up since I was four, I wanted to be Adam Graves — him always being in position, always pushing hard every shift and finding ways to put the puck in the net. He, in my opinion, is the best hockey role model anyone could look up to.
Although, not remembering him play as well now that I am older, seeing him in the Garden before games reminds me every time that this is the man who made me want to continue my hockey career. With the amount of youth service the Ranger great does, he exemplifies the class of the Rangers organization with understanding the importance of giving back.
I remember being at a hockey clinic with Glenn Anderson when I was playing in squirts. I asked him, out of all the teams he played for, which was his favorite. He responded with the Rangers because of his respect for the organization, the appreciation of the fans and winning a Stanley cup. Since his number is retired with the Oilers, maybe he gave me a white lie but what he said made me love this team even more.
I’ve witnessed overtime goals, shootout battles, and comeback games at Madison Square Garden. I’ve purchased season tickets and shared the experiences with my friends, who are all now Ranger fans. Taking the train into the city, we always make a night out of the game because even if the Rangers lose, hockey is never boring and is indeed the coolest game on Earth.
Now, with the lockout ongoing I asked myself, is this really the owners’ fault? The players did turn down a 50/50 offer, which seems fair to me. I know the players are tough men and no other athlete can endure what they go through and how they represent themselves off the ice as well. I know that the owners are not the attraction or the main event but without them we wouldn’t have tremendous competition within the league or Rick Nash. However, I am not a player or an owner, I am a hopeless fan who has to go through the process of waiting for hockey again.
Will I watch AHL, KHL, or any other hockey league? Probably not. Perhaps I will turn on college hockey once in a while; nevertheless I want my New York Rangers. I’ve been craving to see what Rick Nash will bring to the table, when King Henrik will make us jump out of our seats, or when Cally will lay out an apposing player.
I want to argue with my New England friends for who is the best in the East, talk to my dad during every game, and prove my brother wrong about players’ statistics throughout the season. I want to read Carp’s game reviews and the insight from more fans from websites and comment sections.
I will spend my money to root for this team because the excitement of hockey keeps sending me back. I am addicted to this team because I have grown up with this team. I refuse to watch the NBA and all the hype on ESPN non-stop throughout the year. It will be pure torture since I have seen all the repeat playoff games NHL Network has to offer.
As I wait until the NHL and NHLPA get sick of not making any money from the 2012-2013 season I will wait with everyone else. Trying to stay optimistic as if Gaborik was participating in the shootout and hope that both sides close out a deal soon so I can watch Hank close out his fair share of games. The fans deserve it.