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Ever since Tonji-kun was 2 years old, we have been using a disciplining technique often seen on Supernanny, the “naughty step/chair/corner”, for times when he gets out of hand. In our Canadian version, we call the designated place where he gets sent to reflect on his behaviour the Penalty Box (just a corner of the dining room, though I’ve been tempted to build a real penalty box 😉 ).

Tonight my recreational hockey league team played in the early game, so Dorami-chan and Tonji-kun came to watch. Early in the match, but far enough along for me to be “-2” (“minus two”, meaning “on the ice (and in my case, largely responsible) for 2 goals against), I put my hockey stick where it got tangled in an opposing player’s legs, and ended up getting a tripping infraction.

I didn’t argue the call with the referee on the way to the penalty box or slam the door before sitting down. Our penalty killers held off our opponents’ power play, and I played better after that, getting back to “even”. We won the game 3-2.

I think it was good for Tonji-kun to see that even his father has to go into the penalty box sometimes. The same for his regular playdate friend’s father, who is on my team and was penalized shortly after I got out. Good thing it was only for 3 minutes. If the Supernanny formula had been used (duration in minutes = age in years) we would have had to sit out most of the game!


It warmed up a bit today (minus 6 C), so Dorami-chan braved the snowy streets of Edmonton to make her near-daily visit to a Tim Hortons donut shop. In two and a half years she had been to almost all the 18 outlets in Kingston before we moved. With 53 locations in Edmonton, she has a bigger project on her hands, but she has already noticed some differences in the level of service and has some favorites.
Today her coffee came in this year’s holiday season cup, which features a picture of a group of skaters playing hockey. Tonji-kun, unprompted, pointed at this and said, “Otohsan (Father)”. The couple of recreational league games he has seen me play seem to have made an impression!

One off-season diversion for fans of the National Hockey League has been speculating about which free agent players will end up on which team in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement environment. We’ve read stories this summer about general managers and coaches e-mailing, phoning and even showing up on the doorsteps of players’ homes to express their interest in obtaining their services.

When I left Kingston and the Kingston Leftovers league I became an Unrestricted Free Agent recreational hockey player. I am almost certain my fate was of little interest to anyone by me, and there certainly wasn’t anyone knocking on my door. It was me sending e-mails and making phone calls to the various local leagues I found on the Internet:

  • Alberta Men’s Hockey League
  • Edmonton Recreational Hockey League
  • Green Pepper Hockey League
  • Edmonton Ice Box League

As of tonight, I am off the UFA list, having signed on with the Pond Dogs, a 4-year-old team in Division 6B of the Alberta Men’s Hockey League. There was one open roster spot and five interested players. The tryout consisted of seeing who would pay the registration fee first, and I had the fastest chequebook! With the start of the new season just a few weeks away, it’s a relief to have that settled. Now I can get serious about my fitness regime. 😉