Nov 16, 2012

The Lockout is KILLING the NHL and it's fanbase

NHL Commish, Gary Bettman
I blame one man for the lockout, NHL Commissioner, Gary Bettman. This is the 3rd work stoppage due to labor issues in the past 17 years, all on his watch. The 2005 season was lost entirely and it is clear the NHL's "top brass" learned NOTHING! The issues that caused an entire season to be lost back in 2005 needed to be addressed. The game needed some changes both on the ice and in the front offices around the league. However, even after all that time, money, love and hockey lost, all they did was provide a temporary solution that lasted a mere 6 years. I assimilate it to putting a bandaid on a wound that required surgery. It just wasn't going to "cut" it. And back in 2005 after the deal was signed, several members of the NHLPA readily admitted several of the problems will be relevant again after the contract expired after the 2011 season. They new six short years later, the NHL would be back in the same spot. Locked out.
 As a die hard NHL fan, I am sick and tired of not having my product on the ice. There is a hole in my heart as big as a faceoff circle. Does the NHL really think they have such massive appeal in today's national sports scene to survive another extended work stoppage? That is ignorance in it's most blatant form. The NHL has a hard enough time competing with other major sports when they ARE playing so you don't need to be an expert to realize this work stoppage is a disaster.
Both sides are delusional. The Commissioner thinks the league can recover from this. Bettman is banking on the die-hards returning whenever they can't get a deal done. How many times and ways can you alienate your die hard base and count on them returning? I am just one man, but I have strongly considered going on a one man strike this season even when they do get back on the ice. By that, I mean not attending a single game or spending a single buck on the NHL this year. If you're not growing, you're dying. And when your league is locked out, you're certainly not growing. The NHLPA has over-estimated the worth of the league. Many franchises don't even report turning a profit (The Sharks included), even if they fill their barns and make the playoffs (The Sharks included). Donald Fehr is the face of the NHLPA and he has failed miserably as well. I think new leadership is required on both sides.
Ultimately a compromise will be reached. Eventually, a deal will be done.  So whatever that figure is, whatever those parameters are, can't we get there just as easily right now? Don't both sides remember how they FINALLY got it done back in 2005? Concessions on both sides will need to be made. They need to be made in a hurry. Otherwise, this game will slip further and further into obscurity and less and less relevant. If that's even possible at this point. Gary Bettman is not a leader of men. How this man EVER became Commish of the NHL is beyond me. Nobody believes in him. How can the owners still feel this is the guy they need to preside over their league? What has he done to inspire confidence? Change the OT rules? Give me a break, this league is headed down the toilet.

NHL, get it together or we are THROUGH!!!!