Oct 22, 2012 / 11:30 am
YouTube is full of videos about the ongoing NHL lockout. There are tongue-in-cheek parodies of the theme song, messages from players to the fans attempting to win their support, and angry rants from disenfranchised fans who just want their hockey back.
But John Dick's message is starkly different.
The Canadian recently returned from Australia to visit his dying father, hoping to sit down and watch the "good old hockey game" one last time with his dad, a longtime Edmonton Oilers fan.
"My dad's been diagnosed with terminal throat cancer," Dick, a 31-year-old filmmaker, says in the one-minute video recorded recently at his father's bedside in the hospital. "When I come back, me and dad really enjoy watching hockey...and this time it's more important than ever. It kind of gives both of us some inspiration and comfort, the tradition of watching hockey."
Dick goes on to say how little sympathy he has for the players who are locked in a contract dispute over shared revenues with the league -- and offers a direct message to the players.
"How do I feel about the situation within the NHL? I hope the doctors and nurses that keep my dad alive get a raise, and that you guys get your asses back on the ice before it's too late."
Since posting the video last Thursday, the one-minute clip has been viewed close to 50,000 times and provoked a strong response online.
"I'm in the same place as you are:my father is in the hospital dying, I went to visit him yesterday and he was watching 'The Backyardigans.',”wrote tjackson76 in the comments section. “We need hockey."
Another viewer,named Hussizle,was also moved by Dick's video, but thought it would have little effect on the stalemate between players and owners.
"These selfish owners just see dollars and cents from the game. But they don't realize the power of the game, and the importance it has in people's lives,” Hussizle wrote.“Nothing proves this point more than this video, which shows that it's not just about cheering for your team to win, but sharing quality time with those you love, watching something we all love.
"As a Canadian, I completely agree with you, and my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family."
Players have been locked out since Sept. 15, and the league announced last week it was cancelling the season up until Nov. 1, with little hope of a deal in sight after an unproductive round of negotiations.
The NHL says it's still possible the season could be salvaged, but only if a deal is reached by Oct. 25.
The dispute is the NHL’s third lockout in 18 years. According to NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly, the league has already lost $250 million in revenue this season.
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