The three games per week that I would usually watch translate into a good nine hours of quality time spent elsewhere. Last week for instance, instead of watching the Leafs lose to St. Louis and Pittsburgh I engaged myself in Nova on PBS and CBC's The Nature of Things. On top of that, being Remembrance Day week, National Geographic had a fascinating program called "Inside World War II".
So instead of lamenting another shoot-out defeat by the Leafs, David Suzuki informed me all about the lives and behaviours of urban squirrels. Rather than ruminating on why Randy Carlyle has not turned around the Penalty-Killing, I learned the intricacies of how NASA's Curiosity rover landed on Mars. Instead of wondering aloud about the "James van Riemsdyk playing Centre experiment", I was regaled with heart-wrenching stories from WWII veterans on National Geo.
With no NHL hockey, I also have no fantasy hockey or drafts to attend to. In lieu of running my draft at work or maintaining 4 separate Yahoo Fantasy Hockey teams, I have far more time for my Against the Spread NFL pool (in which I've already won a week in our 16 man pool) and I've also delved into the sordid world of Yahoo Fantasy Basketball (I actually won my first two head-to-head weeks).
As for getting my fix of Canadiana that the NHL usually provided, I have quite enjoyed TSN's CFL documentaries "Engraved on a Nation" and in the process learned about how the FLQ in Quebec affected the 1969 Grey Cup.
So, as it stands I'm really not missing NHL hockey at all, if anything I'm grateful for the free time that I'm using to broaden my mind. Thanks Gary and Donald. And if you could hold off on the negotiations for a while more, next week David Suzuki is going to teach me about evidence that Vikings were in the Arctic centuries before Columbus. Looking forward to it!