As a lifelong hockey fan, I wish to thank Sean Daly as well as Darrow Montgomery for their story on the Chesapeake Icebreakers (“Thug Life,” 12/12). A District resident, I was pleased that the Capitals moved right down the Green Line from me earlier this season. Unfortunately, I do not have a law degree from Georgetown, so I do not expect to be cheering on Bondra and Oates from 10 stories up over a $6 cup of Bud Light as often as I would like to be.
Earlier this year, I became aware that an ECHL team was coming to Maryland. My reaction: “Cool, but where the fuck is Upper Marlboro?” Thanks to this story, I now know that it’s off of Pennsylvania Avenue.
There were many other useful and interesting things to learn in this brief study of the sinews of minor-league hockey, from the owner who has decided that money is better spent in places other than multiplexes or chain drugstores to the players who claim to be hanging onto NHL dreams but are really just doing what they love to the guy whose calling in life is to drive a Zamboniin my eyes one as good if not better than preaching or teaching. I even liked the bits on the wives and girlfriends, a subculture in North America every salonist thanks God for.
The minors may not be fine art, but these are guys who lace them up night in and night out in front of puny crowds because that’s what they do, similar in drive to ugly musicians and most poets. It is a love for a game that creates minor leagues and keeps them going. Not everyone was born to be Mario Lemieux. Assuming I can get a ride, Mike Caggiano can thank Daly for increasing his attendance by one for many of his games. I know I will thoroughly enjoy watching high-school coaches and the like do their thing on a sheet of ice in an equestrian arena, gloves on or off.
However, you don’t get off that easy. There is one glaring error in your reporting. When Nilan was an assistant for the Devils, his boss was the legendary Jacques Lemaire, not Jacques Demers, a man who may go down in hockey history as the coach who drove Patrick Roy out of Montreal. Otherwise, merci beaucoup, Washington City Paper.