Hodge: Hockey players and local singer both unlocked from adversity

The NHL is back on the ice but how many fans did it lose as a result of the lengthy lockout?

While Canada’s national pastime is back with the end of the National Hockey League lockout, the question is, however, for how many folks is the decision past their time of caring?

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, team owners, and players collectively managed to tick off thousands of hockey fans across North America and the damage done to the reputation of the game supersedes all the effort to build hockey States-side since Edmonton traded Wayne Gretzky to LA.

From a PR perspective, the labour dispute was as smart as skating on cement. Greed on all parts reared its ugly head and bit the sport in its padded pants – and rightfully so.

The NHL’s stubbornness and stupidity hurt fans and those workers and employees who garner an income from the spin-off industries such as rink employees, concession workers, vendors, sports stores and pubs much more than players and owners.

The whole scenario reminds me of Howie Meeker’s comment years ago: “Hockey is still the greatest game in the world despite the idiots who run it.”

Like many fans, I’m fed up with the ongoing prima-donna attitude of many athletes. Fans, however, must also shoulder some of the burden of stupidity since we are the ones who’ve created heroes out of the likes of athletes, rock-stars, actors—instead of real life heroes such as ambulance attendants and firefighters.

But all mumbling aside, I’m thrilled hockey is back and largely support the players in this latest go-around. I can’t wait to watch the Vancouver Canucks back on the screen instead of suffering though reams of nauseating reality television and silly sitcoms.

Instead, we now get to watch such dramas as the Robert Luongo sweepstakes, the Brian Burke Looks for Work Show, and the Gary Bettman Eats Crow comedy.

Within one day of announcing that hockey is back a myriad of new questions have arisen. Will Luongo go to Toronto now that Burke is gone? Will the Canucks finally make a deal to move them to the Stanley Cup or flounder while Edmonton Oilers climb the standings?

Here’s a couple predictions. If Luongo does not go to Toronto by Saturday, he’ll wind up traded to Philadelphia or Tampa Bay, but not Florida.

Edmonton’s Justin Schultz, from West Kelowna, will win rookie of the year – not overall first pick Nail Yakupov or any others.

The best part of the lockout ending is that talk and theory is over and the game will be decided where it belongs…on the ice.

Somebody drop the puck.


It’s been a long road back but come Saturday, Jan. 19, Riley Russell will step up to a microphone at Duffers Banquet Hall at Mission Creek Golf Course and do what she loves best—sing.

A year ago, the 19-year old was hit head-on by an impaired driver following a band rehearsal. The crash nearly killed Riley.

She sustained two broken ankles, broken feet, and compound fractures to both femurs, and internal and facial injuries.

Riley has courageously battled back in the effort to be reunited with her band The Hits.

Joining Russell on the upcoming evening of music will be three other bands from the Wentworth music program.

Funds raised from the event will assist Riley and her band to travel to Nelson, where they will perform and receive transfer credits to Selkirk College’s Music and Technology program.

Tickets for the Return of Riley Russell Concert are available at Wentworth Music. Doors open at 6 p.m., show time 7 p.m.

For more information contact Noel at 250-860-2251 or email noelwentworth@shaw.ca


Speaking of beautiful music, have you visited the newest music store in town—Milkcrate Records?

Owner manager Peter Jeffery officially opened the doors to his funky record store located at 1551 Ellis St. downtown in April.

The small but quaint store is jammed to the rafters with a massive collection of good old vinyl records.

I did a double-take recently when strolling down the road and noticing the store. It was a flashback for this old kid.

Milkcrate Records is in the exact location (and eerily similar in look and layout) as the infamous Music Box owned years ago by the popular Gordon Bromley.

As a teenager and young adult, the Music Box was the place to go buy Beatles records (or whatever funky band was hip at the time).

Paramount music was the local hotspot for buying instruments, but the Music Box was the place to find the latest 45, 33 or even an occasional 78.

Do yourself a favour and pop into the Milkcrate and check out Peter’s superb music collection.

Charlie Hodge is a Kelowna freelance writer.


Kelowna Capital News

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Classroom chairs (Pixabay photo)
COVID-19 exposure announced at Lake Country school

SD 23 announced the exposure at George Elliot Secondary over the weekend

Allison O’Neil. (Phil McLachlan, Kelowna Capital News)
Okanagan College prof encourages women to excel in math and science

Allison O’Neil is works in the engineering department at the Kelowna campus

The Okanagan’s first virtual wedding fair will be held Saturday, March 27. {Paul Rodgers photo)
Okanagan to host virtual wedding fair

Okanagan wine country is No. 1 destination for weddings - online event set for March 27

Kelowna Fire Department members are cleaning up a two-vehicle collision on Harvey Avenue at Dilworth Drive Sunday afternoon, Feb. 28. (Michael Rodriguez - Kelowna Capital News)
Kelowna crews clear up highway collision

Two vehicles involved in incident at Dilworth Drive and Harvey Avenue

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

A cross-country skier glides along the banks of the Ottawa River in Ottawa on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. Canadians across the country can look forward to a mild spring peppered with the odd winter flashback throughout the first part of the season, according to predictions from one prominent national forecaster. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Mild spring with some wintry blasts predicted for most of Canada: Weather Network

Weather Network is forecasting a slower than average start to spring in British Columbia

AstraZeneca’s vaccines are ready for use at the vaccination center in Apolda, Germany, Sunday, Feb.28, 2021. (Michael Reichel/dpa via AP)
Feds hoping for AstraZeneca shots this week as Pfizer-BioNTech prepare next delivery

The first of those doses could start to arrive in Canada as early as Wednesday

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Wills Hodgkinson, 10, and his mom Neeley Brimer get ready to battle round three of cancer. The community of Penticton has his back. (Submitted)
Community raises $21K to help Penticton boy battle third round of cancer

Okanoggin Barbers held the fundraiser on Saturday for 10-year-old Wills Hodgkinson

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
UPDATE: 70-year-old man killed in workplace accident at Baldy Mountain

The mountain closed on Saturday but has partially re-opened today (Sunday)

Most Read