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The Hockey News

The Hockey News

We’re smack in the middle of summer, the time when barbecue odors dominate the neighborhood air and certain segments of the population take the term “belly shirt” to horrific extremes.

But that’s no reason devout hockey fans should allow their withdrawal symptoms to get the best of them. If you truly want to feel like it’s January (only without the twin terrors of frostbite and New Year’s resolutions), here are a few tips to get you back in an on-ice mindset even in warm weather:

1. Start and finish a trade rumor cycle all by yourself.

Who says professional rumorists and swap-mongers get to have all the fun? By kicking off a whisper campaign among your friends and co-workers – using the most illogical, unworkable-under-salary-cap-regulations, one-sided deal you can dream up – then sitting back and watching the useless debates begin, you’ll think it’s a week prior to the NHL’s trade deadline before you know it.

Then, once a few dopes have seriously bought into it, be sure to whip off a group email in which you condescendingly list the multitude of reasons said deal won’t or can’t happen.

You can’t be labeled a dream-killer if the dreams were closer to drug-induced hallucinations, I say.

2. Using your TV’s remote control, channel-surf for at least 45 minutes in an unsuccessful effort to find a televised NHL game.

Now you know what it’s like to be an American hockey fan in the winter.

3. Embroil yourself in a lawsuit against the New York Rangers.

Ice-dancing girls have done it. The NHL is doing it. Why shouldn’t you?

4. Grab a hockey stick, hold the top of it around crotch level, then run down a street that hasn’t been paved in years.

Should you choose to, something tells me you and this kid will have at least one thing in common.

5. Boo the commissioner.

It’s practically a tradition to empty your lungs in Gary Bettman’s direction at the NHL draft and as you know, the NHL is all about carrying on tradition.

Whether it’s the Predators’ ownership fiasco, the league’s blatant (Jim) Balsillie-phobia, or Bettman’s staunch refusal to say “ah-ah-ah” like this fellow even once, there’s never any shortage of reasons to unload a few raspberries in the general area of the NHL’s top official.

Adam Proteau is The Hockey News' online columnist and a regular contributor to His blog appears Mondays and Wednesdays, his Ask Adam feature appears Tuesdays in the summer, and his column, Screen Shots, appears Thursdays.

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