Much to my chagrin and that of many other sons of winter and stars, last year’s incredibly mild winter really screwed with the outdoor hockey season. I myself only recall one time (the morning of February 5th) in which I was able to skate amongst the wilderness, at Phillips Pond in southern New Hampshire. What a shame. That’s where the tradition is, really, with the cold air stinging your cheeks, the wind whipping you harshly wherever you may be unprotected or uncovered when looking for that one glassy smooth spot amidst that bumpy, frozen road; and that bliss you feel when it reveals itself to you. That’s what it should be about. I was able to get out there at a spot in my town today, fortunately, and even though my hands are still a little numb, there are thoughts in my head that needed to be shared. I hope we can find more great times like these this season.
It’s a bond that the best players in the NHL have with people like me. Doing it with the wind blowing in your face, and doing it when you’re 10 years old, and until your feet are freezing. It’s just the most wonderful thing I could ever think of.
– Fred Haberman