Today is Halloween and chances are pretty good that tonight you’ll open your door at least one Trick-or-Treater dressed up as his or her favourite hockey player. It’s Canada. It’s hockey season. It’s a given. I know for a fact my own daughter has dressed up as Sidney Crosby at least four times in her lifetime. (She’d do it again this year too if she could but she is sixteen now after all!)
Since I’ve been a parent, I always thought dressing up as a hockey player was kind of a lame Halloween costume. I mean, how hard is it to find a set of hockey equipment in any Canadian household and who doesn’t have at least one hockey jersey of their favourite hockey players? It’s like going out for Halloween as a ghost, for crying out loud! You cut two holes in your mother’s favourite new bed sheets and you call that a costume? Back in my day, we used to make fun of those kids who went out for Halloween as ghosts. I wouldn’t say that out loud of course, for fear of having my house egged. But when my daughter donned her famous number 87 Penguins jersey for the second year in a row, I thought, “Honestly, couldn’t you at least put a sheet over your head and go trick-or-treating as a ghost?” A hockey player costume does not call for a great deal of imagination.
It does, however, call for a great deal of loyalty, and speaks to these hockey Halloweeners’ genuine love for the game. (or may they’re all just lazy). Halloween coincides with the first month of hockey season, so it’s on every kid’s minds right now. Who am I to mock someone else’s passion, says the ancient one who wrestled into a costume over her snow suit while adjusting her plastic face mask every two feet. There are many, many kids who absolutely live and breathe hockey and it seems only natural to dress up for Halloween as your favourite hero.
If you’re a hockey parent – indeed if you’re a Canadian – you’ve probably read Roch Carrier’s famous book, “The Hockey Sweater” at least once (or as in our household, over and over and over again). Before the great humiliation that is at the core of this famous Canadiana story, there’s an illustration of an outdoor rink somewhere in Quebec and Roch reminisces about his after-school hockey game: “We were five Maurice Richards taking it away from five other Maurice Richards; we were ten players, … , all of us wearing, … the uniform of the Montreal Canadiens”. There was passion and loyalty at that ODR, and no doubt many Maurice Richard Trick-or-Treaters in that small Quebec town.
So chances are you’ll see at least one Sydney Crosby tonight begging you for candy, and maybe even a Maurice Richard. Make sure you tell them you don’t want to see just any ol’ trick, you want to see a hat trick!
Three cheers for Halloween Hockey, and may none of those players egg your house!
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