It’s that dreaded time of the year again – the offseason. That quiet time when the hockey puck is put away, and we have several very long ice-free months. So, aside from watching old hockey videos on YouTube, what else can we do to ease the boredom of a hockey-free summer?
Well, we’re glad you asked because there just so happen to be a few major events occurring this summer that are sure will scratch your sporting itch. Not least of all, a certain tournament in Russia involving teams from all over the world. But we’ll get to that in a bit. So what else is on the box over the summer?
Even if you’re not a big tennis fan, there’s nothing quite like a bit of Wimbledon. It’s one of the most anticipated sporting events in the British sporting calendar, and for two weeks, the nation is enthralled. Running from July 2nd to 15th this year’s tournament look set to be an epic one.
Serena Williams aims to make her major comeback at the event, and with the backing of Maria Sharapova is hoping to be seeded for the tournament regardless of her current placing (454th in the world). There’s still a chance that Andy Murray will give us all something to cheer about as it looks increasingly likely that he will recover from hip surgery, and take his place on the hallowed turf. It doesn’t really matter who plays though, does it? We’ll all be heading for the garden in our tennis shorts mid-July anyway! Yes, expect the entire country to go tennis crazy at the start of July. If you want to really enjoy the final though, you can head down to the local tennis club and see if they’re showing the matches in the lounge.
FIFA World Cup
The World Cup is just around the corner, and yes we know that it’s not quite as enjoyable as the EIHL, but it is a pretty exciting event nonetheless. We’re quietly confident England will do okay, but it’s a young squad and who really knows what will happen. One thing you could do, though, to bring that element of nail-biting nervousness into it is to check out the Stars £100 Million Challenge. The idea is that if you predict the correct outcome for each match of the entire World Cup you win £100 Million. Not bad for a few minutes of picking results!
Interestingly, the tournament will run from 14th June to 15th July so expect to have a few scheduling conflicts with the tennis. In fairness, if England does make it to the final, we doubt anyone would miss it for the tennis. This year’s tournament is also the first that will take a leaf out of ice hockey’s book and use technology for certain calls. Expect to see the acronym VAR everywhere in the papers this summer.
The British Open
The most renowned golfing tournament in the world is back this year at Carnoustie in Scotland, which as you may have heard is the unofficial home of golf. Now golf isn’t usually a sport that most hockey fans will follow, but the British Open is different. Much like Wimbledon, it’s one of those events that captures the imagination of the entire country, and this year will be a bit special for a certain Sergio Garcia.
The weight of being a perennial runner-up was finally lifted from his shoulders when he won the Masters in 2017. Now this year we expect him to follow that win with another at the Open, which runs from July 19th to 22nd. Remember, you read it here first. Garcia won’t be favourite to win so he could be a good option if you’re willing to put a few pounds on the outcome. In fact, last we checked he was 20/1 to win. Worth a fiver we think.
The Stanley Cup
Come on; you didn’t think we were going to leave this one out did you? With the Golden Knights victorious over the Jets, the Vegas outfit are on their way to the finals in their inaugural year. It’s something of a fairytale and no ice hockey fan in their right mind will miss the finals in June. Stay up late or get up ridiculously early to watch it. But however you manage to do it, this year’s Stanley Cup is not to be missed.
The World Cup and Wimbledon offer plenty of excitement but the Stanley Cup this year has the potential for a magical ending. If you miss every other sporting event of the year and watch only one, make it the Stanley Cup.