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I’m back after taking some well-deserved time off. Once hockey ended, I was as utterly exhausted. Also, not only did hockey season end, but it was the end of the road for youth hockey. Consequently, we spent the spring trying to navigate the junior hockey world. When I say it’s a whole new world, I can’t emphasize how different it is from youth hockey. It’s a bit disconcerting, to be honest, as youth hockey was pretty straightforward. At any rate, we spent the spring navigating this new level of hockey.
A month after the season ended, the Mayor took a solo trip with an FPHSL (Florida Panthers Scholastic League) team to a showcase. The tournament was in St. Louis and parents were encouraged to stay home. The purpose of the showcase was twofold. Get the players exposure and an opportunity to operate independently of their parents. Admittedly, it was hard to stay home. It wasn’t hard because I was worried about him being by himself, he can handle himself. Rather it was hard because I love watching him play. Thankfully, we could at least watch the games on LiveBarn.
The Mayor took advantage of the opportunity and ended up with several invites to team camps. After looking at all the opportunities and talking through them with Coach David (South Florida Wolfpack,) we opted to do an NAHL camp in Minnesota with the Janesville Jets. Prior to leaving for that camp, the Florida Eels had invited him to come to skate. The program was an excellent fit for him, so he signed with the Eels. Even though he signed with the Eels, we felt the Janesville camp would still be a good opportunity for him.
The fact that we were able to stay with my folks was definitely a motivating factor for us to sign him up for the Janesville camp. We flew up to Minny the Thursday before the camp since it started Friday night. Fortunately, I was able to work Friday before heading to the rink. Unfortunately, the amount of pollen and smoke from the Canadian fires absolutely destroyed our lungs. The Mayor and I were on all sorts of cold medicine and home remedies including Manuka honey and black pepper.
Unfortunately, we both ended up with allergic bronchitis, which made it super tough for him to skate. It also followed us back to Florida and took a couple of weeks to clear out. Nevertheless, the camp was a success. He sat down with the coach and owner at the end of the camp and will be staying in touch throughout the next season. This was really the ideal outcome. My hubby and I are excited to see how his game will grow with the Eels. It also gives him the opportunity to billet away from home, but also be close to home.