In the wake of the evolving Covid-19 pandemic, our world has changed, seemingly overnight. In every aspect of our society, this is not life as we know it. How much more it may change, or for how long, is not really known. And spectator sports have have been among first impacted, because few events draw larger crowds of people than sports, and none as frequently. Competitions have been halted, games, championships, seasons, all cancelled ot put on hold. So right now we sit here without a final outcome for the historic fifth season of the NWHL. But it was an amazing season, featuring the most games ever, new support, sponsorships and partnerships for the league, and a whole new approach to viewing the games, via a Twitch. So Cetacean Nation offers condolences to those whose seasons may never be completed, a Fins Up to them always. But stay strong, be safe, and know that the sacrifices made in the cancellations and postponements were for the greater good. And know too, that when competition returns, the fans will be there. Including all of the fans in Cetacean Nation.
So we are in a shadowland between NWHL post-season and off-season, and will remain so for a while. But our Whale will next hit the ice for the 2020-2021 season, so this is offseason now for the Pod. And looking back, it was a remarkable season in so many ways. Each season has sprung from the efforts of those who skated for the Whale in previous campaigns, interacted with the fans and community, and nurtured our little Future Draft Picks. And this year’s version of the Pod continued those traditions.
The current suspension of sports, and how we collectively are feeling about it, illustrates the significant position sport holds in our society. And teams with unique, palpable cultures are a huge part of the attraction of sports. All teams have a culture, and a certain atmosphere around them. By way of example, it means something different to be a New York Yankee or a Montreal Canadian, not just because of their success, but because of their culture. The Dallas Cowboys have a unique culture, decades after their biggest successes, and the Patriots culture will be recognizable if/when they come back to the pack. There is a Celtic way of doing things, a Manchester United way, a Notre Dame way. And the Original Six are still the NHL's top markets. It means something different to play for and root for or against these teams.
The development of the culture of the Whale took a big step forward this season, spearheaded by our GM Bray Ketchum Peel, Head Coach Colten Orr, and Assistant Coaches Laura Brennan and Mike Bonelli. We are the Most Exciting Team in Hockey, but our culture is becoming even more than just that. They have developed a grittiness and toughness into their game to feed the excitement. Around the leagu, it is becoming increasingly clear,of what it means to,play the Whale. There will be the inevitable re-shuffling of rosters that is part and parcel of the NWHL at this point.Cetainly we will be saying welcome back to some, and veterans Shannon Doyle and Elena Orlando have already made indications they would like to return. But we will also say good-bye to some and hello to others of course. But right now, the players that continue our quest, and the players that join with us, have a clear mission. And a clear means by which to execute it successfully. That is where the culture begins, and that is how the culture grows. So although our current tribulations have removed sports from the equation, this too shall pass. And when we come through this, sports will be one of the aspects that leads us to normalcy, new normal though it may be. And in that realm, there is a lot to look forward to as a fan and part of the culture of the Connecticut Whale.