Wired(less) For The Stanley Cup Finals

I try not to miss Canucks broadcasts (radio or television) if at all possible. My wife can attest to this on the date of our second son's birth, when I made the (reasonable) excuse that our child should be exposed to our national sport (sorry lacrosse). Unfortunately, this was the 2006 game on April 1st (a fool for a father, a fool for a son) when Vancouver lost to Los Angeles and were eliminated from the playoffs, despite the late-season additions of Keith Carney and Eric Weinrich (I know, right?!).

Although our son's first hockey experience (at less than 8 hours old) was the early Hockey Night In Canada broadcast between Toronto/Montréal (which I realize now could have jeopardized his mental development), I still managed to include the Canucks in that special day.

Fortunately I (we) got to watch that game on a television in our hospital room, but I had planned for a contingency by packing my Sony AM/FM portable stereo in a travel bag--just in case.

My point is--I've always had something to listen to when there was an important Canucks game (or series) to be played.

Back in 1982, when I was an afro-wearing teenager with bigger hair than Bob Manno, and Tainted Love was acceptable, I carried around a bulky "solid-state" transistor radio to tune in to the finals against the New York Islanders. The radio bulged excessively from the belt of my rugby pants and I had a single earphone which wouldn't stay in my ear, despite all the wax to keep it fixed. The reception was often poor, but despite all of the static, Jim Robson's enigmatic voice cut through all the clatter to provide me with an exceptional mental picture, and particularly of Game 3 of the '82 finals, which I was unable to see due to some community event. While less conspicuous than a Secret Service agent with a reel-to-reel wire-tap, I was able to enjoy the game, despite the obviousness of my position, and more than one stranger approached me during the broadcast, asking me the score.

In 1994 (with afro gone), I had modestly upgraded my Canucks-listening technologies with a Sony Walkman and I was able to play my Soft Cel cassettes on the go, and despite the brightly-coloured over-the-head headphones, the device was bigger and bulkier than my old radio. While I had purchased the Walkman for hockey games (of course), it was also as an encouragement to go rollerblading along the Seawall, although I doubt I ever made it past Third Beach, but that was more due to the scant materials used on women's bathing attire at the time.

But now it's 2011, and while I don't expect to miss any of the Canucks/Bruins Stanley Cup Finals games for any reason, I think I'm prepared. I can set up my iPhone  for Canucks broadcasts through NHL Mobile, or listen in through Wi-fi. I have several iPhone applications that will update me with scores, and instantaneous Twitter feeds from (mostly) reliable Canucks sources, and failing that, I believe I still have two or three antiquated audio devices with which I could "tune in" to the John Shorthouse-announced games on TEAM1040 radio (if necessary).

I don't live far from work, I have extra televisions in my home, and I'm not expecting any more children, so I think I'm communications-ready for the upcoming series. My concerns now are not for my ability to receive the games, but rather if there's enough beer to last throughout the finals!

At least, if the Canucks win, my wife will let me return to Third Beach--as long as I bring the kids.

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