Hockey is a sport that is part of the social fabric of Canada. Skating on a fresh sheet of ice brings back great memories for many Canadians. Some say the game of hockey isn't what it used to be. Hockey legend Ken Dryden is one of them. He says there is no more room to "invent the game" by kids today, and I, for one, agree with
Dryden uses Guy Lafleur as an example. He paints a beautiful vision for us of Lafleur just practicing alone before a game. At these moments, a hockey player isn't under the restraint of rules and will truly develop their instincts for the game. But these moments are becoming fewer and fewer due to the changes in our culture and society. Today, kids tend not to practice by themselves and rarely have time to discover the creativity in the game. Because hockey has become a scheduled activity over the years, the spontaneity of the game is slowly but surely being diminished.
The game of hockey "grew up on ponds and rivers, in big open spaces, unorganized, often solitary, only occasionally moved into arenas for practices or games". The game has now become "suburbanized", changing due to the safety conscience of the today's middle class. The push for safety and organization on today's youths is effectively diluting the creative possibility of the game. According to Dryden, because of this over-organization, kids today essentially only play 10 real minutes of hockey for every organized game they play. Imagine if those two or so hours used to prepare, play, and get home from the rink were used for a pure two hour session of playing time in a backyard rink. Surely your skill level and feel for the game would increase doing the latter, right? Also,