I know, I know. You’re all thinking, dude, the last thing we need is another blogger writing a post about being pissed off at the NHL and NHLPA. I haven’t written on this site in about a month when we were in the midst of doing team previews. Instead of making predictions which may prove to be pointless, the site has been dormant, mainly because none of us want to write about daily CBA updates (of which there are none, every….single….day…). I haven’t read many (any?) blogs during the last month because it will just anger me more.
Instead of gearing up to watch my Flyers take on the Bruins tomorrow night, I’m wondering if my NHL13 team lead by Max Talbot and Sam Gagner can beat some junior club in a tournament for fake pucks. Meanwhile, JAMES REIMER HOW THE HELL DO YOU ALLOW THAT KIND OF GOAL!??!? Sorry…I digress.
I love hockey and its rich history. Maybe I’ve been a little harsh on it lately because two sides arguing over billions of dollars have been so harsh to me. Every time I read a snippet of something that happened 30 years ago with some defunct team, it makes me think, hell maybe in 10, 20, 30 years this whole league could be defunct. I joked with some friends last night that when we’re old and gray, we’ll not be telling our grandkids that we once saw Wayne Gretzky play, or a team called the Hartford Whalers, but instead we’ll tell them tales of missed seasons and lockouts.
I feel like the 2004-05 lockout may have been worth it in the long run. The product was 1000 times better and the game without its’ clutching and grabbing slow pace attracted new fans. This lockout feels more about greed than anything else. Well, all labor strikes are, but this one especially. The NFL and NBA recently had labor issues and in the NFL’s case, they realized that the biggest sport in the United States couldn’t afford to lose games or the cash cow that comes with it. This was the #1 sport realizing this, not the #4 league. You’d think the #4 league would make every attempt to make the money when they could, and capitalize on last year’s NBA lockout, growing fanbase and increased revenue. Instead, the players union wants to discuss better ice surfaces and makes youtube videos for sympathy. PR doesn’t get a deal done.
I’m not pro-owner or pro-union in this labor war. I guess I’m just pro-hockey. Maybe I’m naive or bad with economics but I can’t see how it’s this hard to divvy up $3 billion dollars. With that pie getting smaller and smaller by the day.
When people start watching the KHL on ESPN just because it’s hockey, that seems to be a problem. Watching ESPN makes us all feel dirty for how they treat(ed) the NHL. Barry Melrose seemed like he was ill-prepared, repeating stuff like “oh former NHLer so-and-so” and “[insert city] is a great place, you have to visit it if you have a chance”. Also, how many of us had an attachment to the KHL (or any other league) before the lockout? True, were all new fans once of our teams, whether our city made us love a team, or a player, or just a style of play. Am I going to become a lifelong Eisbaren Berlin or Dynamo Moscow fan because a player is playing overseas temporarily? Likely no.
I can’t see an scenario where there is a clear cut winner unless one side massively caves in. After all, we’re all the losers. There will be plenty of non NHL winners though if this continues. The AHL, ECHL and other hockey leagues attendances will likely get a boost, while other sports like the NBA or NLL could as well. Maybe there will be more people at the local rink during the week. Maybe I’ll start going to the movie theater to watch some cheesy action flick on Saturday nights.
Maybe I’ll just go start a petition.