Your Edmonton Oilers had a remarkable game the other night. A come from behind shootout victory over the New Jersey Devils and the Oiler player of the game was given an incredible incentive, a Canadian military jacket. The idea of the jacket, to be passed from this game to the next etc, simply illustrates what military folk have known forever; when the going gets tough you just dig in deeper. I get the sentiment and for the Oilers sake I hope it works but i think it's a bit of a 'gloss over' for the military.
Soldiers, regardless of rank and families, regardless of size will never be equal to high priced hockey players. Young men who grow up to play hockey at the elite level of the NHL are for the most part babied, handled with kid gloves, well fed, well trained, have all the latest and greatest in gear; whatever it takes to push them through. The same cannot be said of a soldier, who for the most part makes a menial living, may or may not have all the tools necessary to be the best, will at times eat freeze dried rations and best of all, get shot at. When he is shot at, he may get killed, the worst that happens to hockey players is a rousing boo when the game goes poorly. Military injuries will not receive the same treatment as a hockey stars who see the best of the best immediately.
It's laudable that our coach wants to instil some military pride in his team, but seriously if a player gets on the ice with a 5 million dollar a year contract and can't find motivation, just take his dollars and give them to a soldier or his entire unit. Make the player live on the soldiers salary until he finds motivation! No soldier in our army or any army does it for the dollars, they do it for the pride and honour. Maybe the jacket will help remind our young team of that.