The Good Old Days?

Last week I got a treat. Whilst browsing I came across a new link on YouTube, a 45 minute clip of Panthers v Murrayfield Racers (as they were then) from 1988. It showed our old barn in all its beautiful glory, packed to the rafters, no plexi or netting and best of all this clip came from an original live Saturday afternoon broadcast on BBC Grandstand with commentary from the legendary Barry Davies.
This was a time before Arena’s, before rosters packed with imports and before Sheffield Steelers darkened the door of British Ice Hockey! For those who weren’t around then, each team was allowed only three imported players, but they had to be good imports, very good, else they were shown the door.
Some may have heard of Terry Kurtenbach, Panthers captain and a defenceman. He scored five goals in this game, from defence! Thing is at that time the British players weren’t up to the same standard as they are now, bar one or two exceptions, but the thing is I don’t remember that, I always thought on these times as halcyon days. You always here people harking back to these ‘golden times’ and in my mind they always were. I was just a youngster then, but I remember going to the games with my extended family, I remember the packed stadium and I remember watching in awe as the likes of Kurtenbach, Rhodes, Bremner and Weber played in the black & gold as if their lives depended on it. After seeing the link I couldn’t wait to watch it, I have no video of the Panthers from back then so I was so looking forward to watching it, the clip is linked below:

They say that memories should remain just that, memories. I hate myself for this but I really wish I hadn’t watched it. I can’t remember it ever being that slow, the play that poor or the netminding that bad (although it was good too see Moray Hanson being about as good in goal as he is a ref, so it wasn’t all bad!)
It seems that 15 years of import dominated hockey has tainted my view of the past once I watched it again. Of course none of us knew any better then, but the game is so different now. I feel so sad that my admittedly somewhat blinkered view of those days have been shattered and I hate it.
To steal a line from the James hit ‘Sit Down’, if I hadn’t seen such riches I could live with being poor.


5 Responses to “The Good Old Days?”

  1. 1 Terry German October 11, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    This was on BIH you didn’t find it.

  2. 3 ianbraisby October 12, 2011 at 6:31 am

    Always have a similar feeling when I watch old Panthers matches to be honest, great nostalgia but the quallity…….
    Still wouldn’t swap those days for anything.
    Emma’s got a load of old stuff on DVD if you want to acquire any by the way. NEC 86, Wembley 89, etc. etc.

  3. 4 Grumpyminer October 12, 2011 at 7:45 am

    I watched the clip last week and my thoughts are as yours. I have watched Panthers regularly since 1998 (the Superleague era) but had seen hockey on tv a good few years before. As you said the game seemed really slow with very little skill from the British players, with the obvious exception being an 21-year old Tony Hand (Randall Weber was a British trained Canadian so that counts him out).
    When the Superleague cut its own throat and the Elite League was born, imports were once again limited and the outcry was one of “It will be just like the Heineken League”. Well obviously it was nowhere near that bad and personally i feel that the current Panthers team would possibly be a match for any of the Superleague Panthers teams. The Brits we have are now almost the same standard of the imports we bring in.
    Would I want to go back to that level? Not at all, but in all fairness, even if the import numbers were halfed in the EIHL I wouldn’t expect the standard to drop that far.

    Finally, it was good to see what hockey in Nottingham was like back then but such a shame that in 23 years we have developed so few supporter songs and chants. To quote Led Zeppelin “The Song Remains the Same” – Let’s Go Panthers!!

  4. 5 shaun gavigan October 12, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    anyone gonna post the video on you tube of the day we shut out the steelers 0-5 in their house? think it was 14th December 1997, we won the fight too!

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