The reality that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on kids playing hockey this season reveals a glaring shortcoming in the game’s development: We’ve become a nation dependent on “organized” hockey.
The pandemic hasn’t prevented youngsters from playing street hockey (based anecdotally on the games being played by the kids in my neighborhood on Boston’s North Shore), and it certainly hasn’t stopped them from lacing up their skates for a pond hockey session (of course, the undeniable warming of the planet also has something to do with that, but the hard truth of climate change is a topic for another day).
No, the sad fact is that kids are suffering from a shortage of the organized games that we, as parents, have determined are the best option for our children to experience this great game. We’re wrong. We’re failing our children. And, by extension, we’re failing the game.