Why Hockey Means So Much To Me

March 5, 2018

For anyone that knows me, they can tell you how much I love hockey. I consume hockey content daily, have had the privilege to play ball hockey on the world stage and share my love for the game with just about everyone.

But, why do I make it a priority? And what can my love for the game mean for you?

First, let's take a trip down memory lane.

The man you see pictured above is my father, Nirmal Singh Brar. He and my mother, Darshan Kaur Brar, came to Canada in 1981 to give their future children an opportunity they never had: to flourish in a first-world country.

When I was born in 1992, I was the third (and last) child to two of the greatest parents anyone could ask for. Growing up, both worked tirelessly to provide for our family. Truly, my gratitude knows no bounds.

While my mother worked in Edmonton, my father was out in Fort McMurray. Working in construction, my dad was a labourer and was required to work 12 to 24 consecutive days at a time. His days off would usually last three days before he headed back to northern Alberta. As a result, my time with my father was very limited between kindergarten and high school.

However, there was always one constant: hockey.

When my dad came home, it would usually be over a weekend. Just like any other Canadian family growing up, we were glued to Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday nights. Whether it be watching the Maple Leafs at 5:00 p.m. or the late-night match-up featuring our Edmonton Oilers, they were precious moments. Moments that I hold close to my heart.

We would often high-five, cheer and boo together. My dad would often share stories from the Oilers' glory days and I would argue why Doug Weight was the greatest Oiler of all-time. We were together.

The sport was our connection. It provided my dad and I with so many memories together. Hockey was something I would look forward to when my dad said, "I'm coming home this weekend, son."

Currently, my father works in the city and I get to see him every day; something I don't take for granted. While his living circumstances have changed, our passion for hockey remains the same. It continues to be the connection between us.

It was in November of 2016 when I decided I wanted to turn my passion into a career. While I am still a student in the Radio & Television program at NAIT, the past 15 months have been the best 15 months of my life.

I have had the opportunity to be involved in memorable sporting experiences. This includes working for Sportsnet and NBC broadcasts of Oilers games, working as a colour commentator for the NAIT Ooks hockey clubs and becoming a hockey writer for two websites.

It all started with a decision to chase my dream and follow my passion. This is where you come in.

Ask yourself: are you chasing your dreams?

On November 2, 2016, my answer was "no."

If you answer the same way I did 16 months ago, I highly encourage you to do something about it! Life is too short to not wake up with a smile everyday. Go out, chase your dreams and love every step of the way!

I promise you, you won't regret the decision to follow your dreams! 

There is no feeling like it!