I missed hockey. A lot. The Bears missed the playoffs and my Bulls are still playing without our super star point guard in Derrick Rose. I needed the Blackhawks back to root for. In honor of a Blackhawks hot start and my excitement for the season finally beginning, here is the Benchmark 5: Things we can learn from hockey.

  1. Be the good guy. A lockout makes it hard to keep your love for a sport. The athletes that play the game of hockey do not. During the early going of the lockout, the 2010 Stanley Cup winning Chicago Blackhawks gathered as many players from that team as possible for a charity game. They brought along a few other friends and celebrated the team that is near and dear to the hearts of Chicago hockey fans. From all accounts, it was a huge success.
  2. Loyalty to fans pays off. The Blackhawks are one of a handful of teams that don’t really have to worry about the fans returning after the lockout. That doesn’t mean the organization won’t let their fans know they appreciate their dedication. Season ticket holders have a shot at winning 1,000 autographed jerseys, 250 pucks, 100 sticks and 50 chances to win locker room tours, skate with a legend, press box for a game, etc.
  3. A comeback is usually possible. There have been two major hockey lockouts in the last decade. They didn’t even play an entire season. Still, the kickoff game between the Chicago Blackhawks and the LA Kings earned the highest preliminary TV rating for a non-Winter Classic regular-season game since the 2002 season.
  4. Push your boundaries. During the lockout many players went to Europe to play. A good amount of them look better than ever in the early going. Some of it may be that they’re just in the zone already, having been active. Others may say they learned some new tricks playing in a different league. You never know what you’ll pick up when you get out of your comfort zone.
  5. Fight for what’s right. In hockey, that might literally mean knocking out a few of your opponent’s teeth in retribution for a dirty play. I’m not telling you to punch someone in the face if you feel that there is an injustice, but do be willing to stand up for yourself.