I have a growing list of things that I am missing thanks to the lockout. The latest occurred to me while I was reading some old blog posts from last season and ran into the Hockey Hugs series over at Puck Daddy, curated by my blogwife, Harrison Mooney. I badly miss high-quality hockey photography, both for the potential hilarity and for the beauty.
There’s something about hockey that leads to some of the most fantastic sports photography in the world. Maybe it’s the canvas – the crisp white sheet of ice – combined with the vibrant colours of NHL jerseys. Maybe it’s the magic of such a fast-paced sport distilled to a single frozen image. Whatever the case, I love hockey photography and miss being able to scroll through Getty Images in the morning for shots of the previous night’s games.
There are still plenty of NHL photos available: they’re just a little less exciting. Here are 10 of the best photos of the NHL lockout.
10 | Donald Fehr
Hey, remember the days back in September when we could smile and laugh at the possibility of the entire NHL season being cancelled? How preposterous an idea! The NHL had record revenues and was making some inroads into tough US markets. How could they cancel the season?
In fact, everything was so hunky-dory that Donald Fehr used to take time during media availability to test out some of his stand-up comedy material. “…that’s when she said, ‘but I haven’t filed my affidavit yet!” Admittedly, the players seemed to be only laughing out of politeness.
9 | Zdeno Chara and Henrik Lundqvist
Look at those shorts. Just look at them! That’s the problem with being a massive, terrifying beast of a man like Chara: no one tells you when your shorts look stupid as hell. Those shorts are so hideous that you don’t even notice Lundqvist, the supposed paragon of NHL fashion, is wearing a denim shirt that is the same colour as his pants. What a disaster.
8 | Gary Bettman
“She’s got huge…tracts of land.”
7 | Jeremy Jacobs
I’m just saying.
6 | Gary Bettman and some other guy
I love this photo. Not because of Bettman, though he’s doing a boss job of walking from one place to another, but because of the random dude on the right side of the picture. I don’t even think he’s at all connected with the lockout. He’s just a guy walking down the sidewalk. In any case, it’s clear that he’s not used to having a member of the media pointing a camera in his direction, because he’s instinctual reaction is to look directly into the lens and smile, unlike Bettman, who’s a pro, acting like the camera isn’t even there.
Edit: I have been informed many, many times that the cheerful looking fellow in this photograph is none other than the Canadian Press’s own Chris Johnston. Follow him on Twitter: @reporterchris.
5 | Steve Fehr
If any photo is more emblematic of the media’s coverage of the lockout than this one, I don’t want to see it. Coming at the end of one of the marathon negotiating sessions, this photo gives us just a glimpse of Steve Fehr. I can just imagine the photographers waiting at the end of the hallway for hours to catch a glimpse of one of the principles in the negotiations.
“Wait, I see one!”
“I got him, I think I got him!”
“Who, who’d you get? A player? An owner? Bettman? Daly? Who?”
“It’s a Fehr! Oh…wait, nevermind…it’s just Steve Fehr. And I only got half of him.”
“Damn, so close.”
4 | Roberto Luongo, aka. Ryan Miller
This photo is hilarious for two reasons: first, it shows Ryan Miller totally falling asleep while Donald Fehr speaks to the media. Second, it identifies Ryan Miller, American Silver Medallist, as Roberto Luongo, Canadian Gold Medallist. Admittedly, it doesn’t mention anything about medals, but I just had to add that.
3 | Mike Fisher
On November 18th, Mike Fisher should have been on the road with the Nashville Predators, who had a game scheduled in St. Louis on the 17th and in Montreal on the 19th. Instead, Fisher was attending the American Music Awards with his wife, Carrie Underwood. Not only was he forced to hold her purse when she won Best Country Album, he went out of his way to get a photo with Justin Bieber. That shouldn’t have happened, Bettman. I blame you.
2 | Bill Daly
“Oh, you guys actually wanted an NHL season? Whoops. Sorry.”
1 | The NHL Podium
Bruce Bennett is a fantastic sports photographer. He shouldn’t have to take pictures of people setting up the NHL podium, but on December 5th, the podium was the star. It took a team of four to frantically set up the podium so that it could sit, unused, for hours. Isn’t that the quintessential photo of the lockout?