Waiting On Puck Drop

In the heat of the summer, we sometimes find ourselves (though perhaps we deny it) dreaming of a cooler day. A day when we don’t start sweating the minute we walk out the door, and yes, a day when it’s deemed socially acceptable to pull on our favourite hockey jerseys. For exactly this time of year, the hashtag #IsItOctoberYet has been created and has spread like wildfire across almost all social media platforms.

With the #IsItOctoberYet hashtag, NHL (@NHL) fans from across the league have been counting down the days to puck drop since the moment Jonathan Toews and his Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) raised Lord Stanley’s Cup on June 15th. The hashtag has not only been adopted by fans, but also the official team accounts, who historically participate in the countdown to the regular season with photos of current and former players with jersey numbers that match the number of days left until puck drop.

After the Stanley Cup Finals are complete, fans look forward to the Trade Deadline Day (#TradeDeadlineDay) on July 1st. This day, already a highlight on the calendar of many NHL fans, is an exceptionally busy day on social media, with fans, teams, players, and analysts all discussing trades, possible moves, and the future of teams across the league. Oftentimes, this day at the beginning of July is the last major news day for the NHL. On #TradeDeadlineDay, we remain excited and optimistic about our team’s coming season, but the day after is when it all starts to unravel and go downhill. The optimism quickly fades and we’re left with the anticipation for October. In other words, we’re left wondering #IsItOctoberYet?

This hashtag, which officially went viral in the summer of 2012, has helped to bridge the time in the offseason between Trade Deadline Day and puck drop. Where once we were left alone, wistfully imagining the coming season, we are now able to post meme after meme and post after post that showcases our excitement; excitement for that new offseason acquisition, excitement for the future, excitement for what could be, and excitement simply to watch the game that we love.

So yes, we are currently living through the dog days of summer, and boy is it hot, but we are no longer hiding in the shadows. We no longer care about the social unacceptability of wearing a hockey jersey outside, we’re patiently waiting because we know October is just around the corner. So no, it is NOT October yet, but hey, at least we’re all in this together!

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