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Rand Simon's Blog: The 'joy' of tyke hockey

Hockey parents everywhere know the trials and tribulations of getting their youngsters into the game. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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Hockey parents everywhere know the trials and tribulations of getting their youngsters into the game. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

I knew it was going to be a long year when in the middle of the third game of the season I told one of our defensemen to stay at the other team’s blueline when the puck was in their end and he asked me, “where’s the blueline?”

We lost that game. And every one before it and every one since. We are well on our way to an 0-16 season that will likely only produce a win if the other squad goes on a team vacation and we win by default.

At 0-8 we are not only the sole winless team in tyke, we are the only winless team in the association’s entire 60-team house league. Whoever said it doesn’t matter whether you win or lose in house league hockey never coached a team that lost every game.

Since I have been assured by our division conveners all the teams are equally balanced, I can only blame the coaching for our perfect season. That coaching, of course, would be me. I’m not sure if a tyke house league coach has ever been fired, but I won’t be surprised if I get an email from the parents one day re-assigning me to another position in the organization.

The “where’s the blueline” question was just one of many, let’s call them “moments,” that have made me realize I may not be cut out for this.

There was the time when our right winger lined up for the faceoff at center ice and instead of skating once the puck was dropped, decided he’d rather try to build a pile of snow as high as he could with his stick. The play must have gone on for about 20 seconds before I realized he was still standing there and I had to go up to him (I’m on the ice with the kids for these games) to remind him the game was on.

I’ve also been asked countless times by our players if the other team just scored after I’ve finished fishing the puck out of our net and picked up our goalie.

Then there was the time when our goalie cried for pretty much the entire 45-minute game (you would cry too if you had to play goal on this team) with one of her big concerns being that the scoreboard clock indicated “third period” right at the start of the game so she thought she missed most of the game.

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Oh, we’ve been competitive in some games and we’ve actually had leads a couple of times, but eventually the better team (that would be the other team) always managed to win.

One game was going so badly that when the other team was getting breakaways, some of their players were making drop passes to no one instead of shooting at our goalie. The fact even six-year-olds could feel sorry for us is pretty remarkable.

We thought we had a chance to win a few weeks ago when we played a team that was also winless. They had been outscored 44-15, while going 0-5 and our guys were pumped for the chance at a win. We lost 7-6 and it is still that other team’s only win this season in nine games.

The association tried to help us. They even traded us the second-best player in tyke, but of course he’s on vacation for the next couple of weeks, so 0-10 seems like a certainty.

When he comes back we’ll have six games left. The worst team we play is 4-4 and they haven’t had the pleasure of playing us yet. If we win one of those last six games it would be a bigger upset than Austria winning the World Junior Championship.

To the parents in our association, don’t worry, I promise I will never coach again after this season. Your kids deserve a chance to win at least one game every year and I won’t stand in their way.

To my son, Hayden, who still celebrates every one of his goals like it’s the Stanley Cup playoffs, even though most of them have come when we’ve been losing 9-2 (hey, he’s the Jimmy Carson of tyke hockey), I’m sorry you have to be known as the son of the coach who can’t win a game.

Well, at least baseball season is only a few months away. Anyone need a coach?

Rand Simon is an NHLPA certified agent. He has spent the past 15 years with Newport Sports Management Inc. You can read his other THN.com Insider Blogs HERE.

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