Well it’s October 11th and it’s a day that I SHOULD be about as happy as I can possibly be; however, as I sit here writing this column I am not happy, not even a little bit. Why you ask? Well this is the day that the puck was supposed to drop to start the NHL’s 2012/2013 season, but as the multi-millionaires continue to argue over more money than I might make in ten lifetimes, we the fans have nothing to be excited about.
I can’t help but be angry about the NHL lockout considering, as a fan, it is the money I spend to support my favourite team that they are arguing over. It is the tickets I buy, the over-priced beer I am only too happy to consume at each game and the jerseys I spend so much money on I am scared to wear them anywhere but to a game that helps to produce the millions of dollars they are arguing over. I know I have no say in the outcome and I personally don’t want any, I just want the league I have invested so much time and money into over the years to see that this is not the only way to make things happen. Why must the supporters of the sport be the ones who suffer before a deal is ever reached? Why not work on a deal during last season to keep the paying customers happy? I understood the last lockout, a salary cap needed to be put in place and here just a few years later we have already seen the benefit of it, but this one seems to make less sense considering there was an agreement to play under the old CBA for the season while they negotiated a new one.
I guess there is nothing we can do about it, and that is just the way it is. I would love to say that in response to this lockout I would stop buying tickets to games and jersey’s for my favourite team, but come on, I’m Canadian and I would just be lying to you and myself. I know that when the lockout ends I will be excited again, and that I will go to a game if I can get tickets and cheer on my favourite team, but I’m not sure that can be said for the American audience and that’s what worries me.
Now with the lockout officially underway my only option now is to head to some junior hockey games to remind myself of what hockey is all about. The passion, hard work and devotion that seems to get lost in these billion dollar battles between owners and players. I guess if the NHL doesn’t want my money I will head to the local rinks and buy their tickets, consume their over-priced beer and dress myself in their swag because at least I know they still appreciate me, the fan!