Jim ‘You’re the Best’ Vinge

Tales from the Timebox: March 10th, 2018

The hockey world is still in shock and will be for months to come. The tragic news from Humbodlt hit our dressing room on Friday night as we suited up for the annual Jim Vinge tournament.  All of us wanting to know more and hoping it wouldn’t be as bad as it eventually turned out to be.
Most of us have ridden the bus at one time or another with a sports team. Many of the young men playing on our team had ridden on buses. Two or three of them in our room had played junior hockey and took road trips everywhere across the province and other provinces. Some others like myself  had a lot of road trips on the bus when my son Jordan  played midget. It made all of us stop and think about how precious life really is.
Hockey at any level is a bonding thing. You take for instance the short time spent together with the pick up team this weekend. Because the teams are picked by a draft, many of the players hadn’t met each other until this weekend, but by the end of it all we were friends and teammates.
We could laugh at each other when you made a mistake, missed the puck or fell down and cheer loudly when we scored or had a huge save. And best of all, talk about the game long after it was over.
Some of the guys played minor hockey here so its was great time to reminisce after the game for a few hours about some great minor hockey teams and memories of the past. Or talk about the NHL playoffs, who’s going to win the cup. Who to cheer for now. Talk about the players like McDavid and the Oilers and what went wrong .
Or how will the Leafs do in the playoffs?  if they make it past the first round they may go all the way.  Is this finally  the year of the Leafs? Over 50 years since they last won the Stanley Cup.
And lots of conversation about the Blue Jays too. Looking a lot better than a year ago, but still a long season ahead.
We had lots of conversations about our very own teams. Like the Elks winning the silver medal. Some of the players in the tournament played with the Elks this year. As well as, the Midgets and Peewees winning silver will give us something to talk about for years to come too. Way to go guys.
This is what hockey is all about. Bonding. Coaches corner after the game is sometimes more important then the actual game itself. And in  the back of our minds all of us thinking about the tragic accident.
My buddy Jim Vinge was a terrific hockey guy who loved the game. He was always willing to volunteer whenever we needed a hand at the rink. We spent many hours together in the time box. He loved to record music and play it. And he was the one who dreamed up the idea of the air horn and hooked it up. We had a lot of great times together and we still do thinking and talking about him. Thanks Jim for all the memories. This last hurrah tournament is in his memory and I will still feel it for quite a few days from now!
And now for the K.A. Campbell quote of the week. ” Sports are the reason I am out of shape. I watch them all on TV. ” – Thomas Sowell