Keep calm and procreate on

By Jennifer Thurbide

…would probably have been an appropriate catch phrase for the 2004-2005 NHL hockey season. Those who are avid fans or have children with birthdates in early 2006 may remember quite well the year that the players association and management couldn’t agree where to get their annual savings from: the multi-million dollar players’ contracts or the executive salaries. This might be an over exaggeration of the circumstances, but really, I have procreating on the brain.

One of the more noticeable concrete results from that labour dispute (besides the return of the Winnipeg Jets) is that the population of the country increased. According to national bean counters Hockey Night in Canada turned into sex night in Canada for many and birth rates that year hit a seven-year high. Although that was also the year that jagerbombs became popular so I am guessing the hockey strike may not have been completely to blame.

Fast forward to the 2012-2013 season that almost never was. The evidence of a cold, NHL-less winter is showing on the hips of more than one lucky lady in town. And this isn’t just my observations – it comes up at most dance recitals, bake sales and luncheons. The Red Lake district, although understandably populated mostly by young families, is about to see its size increase once again.

Earlier this year Edmonton retailers reported a surge in the sale of adult toys and lingerie in which they attributed to the hockey strike that hit the city hard without the Oilers/Flames rivalry to get the blood pumping. I would imagine that the popularity of 50 Shades of Grey and Magic Mike also had something to do with it but the sales receipts told the story. Albertans were finding something else to do this past winter.

Anecdotally some report the birthing spike is expected to hit in July-August (as that seems to be a common due date) and that would make sense. I am sure few can forget the cold couple nights spent in the dark back in October and kudos to those who found a way to keep the heat on inside.

As investigative reporters we promise to stay on the case to find out if in fact the local and national statistics will match what we all know to be true.

But winter is in retreat and the NHL did come back to our living room and bar TV sets. The playoffs are about to start which can get even the most casual observer (me) to tune in – at least until the Leafs take a beating and then I am good until next season.

Don’t fret ladies, as one of my colleagues put it last week, “there’s always intermission”.


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