It’s always fun to watch the opening of the Stanley Cup Finals because you never know what you’ll see. This year, the prestigious hockey event kicked off in Anaheim, California, with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger dropping the ceremonial puck for Game One of the best of seven series between the Anaheim Ducks and the Ottawa Senators. Beforehand, CBC Sports hosts Ron MacLean and Don Cherry interviewed him, and Arnold revealed he’d be leaving the very next day for important trade talks taking place in Canada. He was excited about meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and various provincial leaders to discuss trade opportunities between California and Canada.
Now, I am thinking, what does California need from us? Apparently, they need more hockey fans. I just finished reading one of those typical sports articles where the reporter talks to people about hockey and no one knows what’s going on despite the fact the highest level of play is happening right in their back yard. I am not knocking Ducks fans here, because I know the Ducks have some of the finest hockey fans around. However, the sport is ranking low on the California sports food chain these days, and hockey fans everywhere would like to see that change.
My message to Stephen Harper is this: Only talk to Arnold if he is willing to use his entertainment and media power to back hockey. Hockey is big business here in Canada and other parts of the world. In Canada, hockey has never been more popular. Women’s ice hockey is the fastest growing sport in the world right now. If Arnold wants to trade for some of Canada’s resources, he’d better be willing to buy into the industry and business of hockey first.
Arnold must become a card-carrying hockey fan with season ticket holder status with the LA Kings, the Anaheim Ducks and the San Jose Sharks. Brian and Jennifer Burke, and the Neidermayer brothers should be on Arnold and Maria’s A list of party invites. The Prongers can be your new BFF’s. Teemu Selanne and Andy Macdonald must be inked for their own buddy sitcom or feature film immediately. Arnold must see to it that the slang term, Jiggy, is resurrected and spelled with a “G” instead of a “J”.
So Arnold, I hope when you left for Canada yesterday morning, after you kissed Maria good-bye, you said to her “I’ll be back, Maria, and I’ll be bringing lots more hockey with me.”