You see it all the time with the draft and the various games of "musical teams" throughout the NHL. Players come, players go. One minute they are wearing your favorite team's jersey, the next you are rooting against them. It's no different in youth hockey.
Let's say you made it through tryouts without throwing yourself in front of the zamboni, your kid worked hard and got on the team. But as you scan the roster, with pride just rolling off of you in waves, you notice the list of names is different. Wait....where’s so-and-so? And what’s- his-name?
They didn’t all make the team.
At that moment you go from receiving the “I am sorry’s” like that one year, to giving them. What do you really say though? You’ve been in the trenches together, shared the pain of loss and the thrill of victory. Like old war buddies you have a bond that you think will never be broken.
You just figured that they would all be back this season.
I am not so thick headed not to realize these things happen. There are only so many spots to fill and way more kids at the tryouts to fill them. Even so, It’s really hard to celebrate another season in that jersey when a fellow teammate has to find a new one to wear. But what do you say when you've known that kid for years?
"Sorry” seems really inadequate.
So I decided to go positive by discussing the new team, the new people and to even joke about being rivals. Why? Because dwelling on the negative doesn't do anybody any good. No sense rubbing salt in an open wound.
And it's not like they are dying...you WILL see them again.
It may be on opposite sides but. it is possible to stay friends, to celebrate each others' success and commiserate in each others' challenges. How do I know? I've done it and anyone in the youth hockey world knows that hockey parents make THE best friends.
So mourn a little, commiserate a little, maybe invite them out for a drink..because it ain't the end of the world. You'll have time later to be anxious, when you meet in the playoffs.
How do YOU deal with roster changes and staying friends? Comment below.