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Further proof of global warming....the demise of backyard rinks....

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by JR, Dec 22, 2007.

  1. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

    Canada's best columnist on any topic you can think of writes about "Wally's Coliseum" and the end of back yard rinks in parts of Canada because it's too damn warm.


    It's a cliche of course but anybody who's played any hockey at almost any level will tell you that you learned whatever skills you had on outdoor rinks.

    Everybody had a backyard rink, it seemed,” says Toronto Maple Leafs coach Paul Maurice, who grew up in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

    He recalls three games being played at once on the larger high-school rink just across the street from the Maurices' own backyard-ice surface. The bigger, skilled players would be playing up and down the entire ice, smaller kids would be playing their own game up and down the middle and those just learning the game would stick to the less-busy fringes.

    “It was such a huge part of growing up,” Mr. Maurice says. “There are so many things you just don't see any more. You don't see kids going to school with skates over their shoulders. You can't even if you wanted to. Skates have sharp blades. And sticks wouldn't be allowed.

    “My parents couldn't see the rink we played on. They just knew we were there.”

    Nice piece by Roy. My boys and I used to go down to an outdoor pond down by the lake to play shinny up until about 10 years ago. Hasn't frozen for any length of time since.
  2. Huggy

    Huggy Well-Known Member

    How many outdoor rinks are left in Toronto? I can think of one - where the Leafs held an outdoor practice last winter where my man Bates Battaglia almost froze to death - but there can't be many left.
  3. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

    Oh, there's still quite a few outdoor rinks with artificial ice--remember when Mayor Miller was going to keep them closed until January and them Mastercard stepped in to foot the $125,000 bill to open them up on Dec 1?

    The one thing my kids talked about now that they're back for the Xmas break is getting out and playing some shinny.
  4. Huggy

    Huggy Well-Known Member

    Maurice and I are around the same age and while he grew up in the Soo and I grew up in Toronto, I can remember pond hockey and endless games of road hockey.

    But I don't remember kids playing on five different teams, kids bailing on school for private lessons, guys making 50K for coaching minor hockey, kids registering under phony addresses to play in a different area.
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