Continued from WORLD WIDE HOCKEY TOUR –
Instead the new circuit had a philosophy of more offense or a faster paced, more offensive game which is better for the fans. Mekkar called it “A different, rarely seen approach in the
Hemisphere at that time, up-tempo mode of play on the ice.” He,
along with others, mainly saw it as due to the infusion of extensive outside
talent from overseas and the States. That is, outside the confines of the
Mekkar liked the WHA for the main reason was that it created more opportunities to make a potential career out of hockey for him. If, he ended up getting that far. It wasn’t just some type of pipe dream for him as some scouts had told Mekkar that he had the potential to reach that level. The P-word. Potential, what? He hates that term. To Mekkar saying a person has potential in an area is like a person has the promising capability to intake air. To him, everyone has potential to accomplish great things in their life. The issue is whether an individual gets a chance to use that potential to succeed in a particular endeavor, is a different matter altogether. It is rarely what you know, but more so who you know that truly counts on advancing upward on the social scale.
Lasse’s best friend, Mekkar welcomed more position openings for hockey players to further pursue their craft and stick it - to the man. In the manner of breaking down the draconian stranglehold of recent earlier times and limits for athletes. Mekkar felt that the upward glass ceiling was being smashed through during this era. Restrictions were readily unlocked much quicker on player compensation and the negation of the minimum age limits. Also, successful legal destruction of the modern slavery inducing reserve clause which automatically tied an individual to a specific club indefinitely. It was previously renewed when a player’s contract ran out. Particular wording in the document didn’t matter; standard practice was just instituted as before. The times were changin’ baby! Player movement was now in full swing. On one hand it was positive, but it did also create instability for teams in some cases. Pro baseball was at the forefront in its free agency infancy stage, which affected the whole realm of the sports marketplace too! [Wikipedia; whahockey.com; billsportsmaps.com; Playing Hockey The World Over… wha.htm]
He thought it was cool to change things up a bit in relation to items that are really in essence for the fans. For example, the all-star game formats. In most of the years these special activities were anything but set in stone. Mekkar was glad that the WHA was willing to put some pizzazz into those matchups to keep the league followers always guessing as to What comes next? [whahockey.com] In Mekkar’s mind, this shows bravery and a creative out of the box mentality. On the other hand, that type of thinking can also be a pain to prepare and plan for, as well as, setup the final details.
Some change is beneficial and reasonable to Mekkar as to prevent staleness and inertia. However, constant change on a day-to-day basis with no structure or consistency-base whatsoever creates a dilemma for Mekkar. He is like most people in that he also likes to get settled into his environment, at least for a bit. To him variety is good as long as he is not always in the middle of it and the ever changing eye of the storm. Thus, gradual change stance creates a direct inner conflict for Mekkar. Maybe in spite of himself, like most individuals Mekkar is, at the same time, a creature of habit and routine whether he admits it or not.
Moreover in his native culture and reflective upbringing one had to be always aware of surprises and sudden change. Those situations could be very dangerous and life threatening. They could easily get out of hand resulting in a negative outcome, such as costing a person their life. Mekkar often repeats a certain quip, “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression with a polar bear because he might look at you as a snack!” In reality, bear attacks upon people are not as common as many believe, but who would want to take that chance?
This new brand of hockey brought about a more wide open game and higher scores which, let’s face it, fans in North America seem to prefer. Possibly, that is only Mekkar’s conviction with regard to people’s sport choices. That is why he believes basketball is so popular due to the increased numbers on the scoreboard.
Since Mekkar is a defenseman, he understands and appreciates good defensive play in many sports. Plus, to him higher scoring matches show weaker protection of your own goal capability. Mekkar has participated in basketball, but it was not his cup of tea. So, he feels that he can authoritatively speak with regard to issues such as this.
Alf’s older sibling, Mekkar gravitated to and engaged in more of the physical contact or collision athletic pursuits. Undertakings such as Rugby, Australian Rules Football (Footy), American (Gridiron) Football – which by the way was introduced in 1861 in Toronto, Canada, Hockey of course, Boxing, Lacrosse – which has more battles than most conclude, and others. Not only that, Mekkar has also dabbled in additional sports like Wrestling, Soccer, Volleyball, Surfing, Sailing, etc.
It makes sense to Mekkar that if a side controls the ball, puck, and tempo of a match that squad should have more turns to notch scores or points.