It certainly will be a weird one. I for one haven’t set foot inside Altrincham since the last Phoenix game played there. And truthfully, I never intended to do so ever again. But things happen. Things that are bigger than any issues I have with the owners of the rink. So I’m attending the charity match.
Sure, I’ve had reservations, such as when I saw the Storm logo all over the bulk of the merchandise. I believe that either all the “Manchester Ice Hockey” logos should have been used, or none at all. As it is, it looks like a Storm event, even though I know that isn’t the case. But I am willing to let that slide. As I said, personal doesn’t come in to this. It just means that unless there are enough of the “neutral” shirts then I won’t be buying anything. I’ll just make a direct donation to the Red Cross instead. There has also been a bit of sniping from both side. Which is both tiresome and uncalled for.
I’ll be straight up. I bear no ill will towards anyone on the ice, or who has been involved in organising this game on Saturday. To pull this together in short order has been amazing. Indeed, i hope that Saturday will finally put a cap on the whole situation, and we can all just carry on with our lives. In the wake of what happened at the Arena, squabbles and bitching over the Phoenix & Storm seems very, very pointless and trite. Hockey has been part of my life for decades. It will continue to be part of my life for decades to come. But the Manchester chapter of it closes on Saturday, in what i hope will be a celebration of togetherness and joy. I sincerely hope that no one takes it upon themselves to try and do some final “point scoring” (which some have tried already). That really isn’t the point.
And if all the “he said, she said” bullshit is still that important to you….. take a long hard look around you on Saturday. In the grand scheme of things, does it really matter at all?