Hockey is not simply confined to the NHL. Roy MacGregor put it best at his HHOF acceptance speech.
What I love best about this game is that hockey, unlike baseball and basketball, has no inventor.
Hockey has no Abner Doubleday, no James Naismith.
Windsor, N.S., says hockey began there. Kingston says hockey was invented there. Montreal claims the same and some say the game was first played by members of the Franklin Expedition when they were frozen in that Arctic winter.
But I say the game is invented every time the puck is dropped.
It is invented in backyards and driveways.
It was invented every time the marble dropped in my older brother Jim’s table top hockey game.
It was invented every time the tennis ball dropped – or the puck when the lake froze over in Huntsville and our large family played its Christmas Classic. I am so proud to have so many of those players here for this today.
And it will be invented next Monday evening in a hockey rink in Ottawa, where there will not be a single person in the stands but not a single player will care.
What I wish today is for that game at the highest level to be re-invented again by the NHL and the NHL Players Association.