So, now we are done for the year. The NHL has cancelled games through December 30th. Two more paychecks go by the wayside for the players, two more weeks of ticket sales go bye-bye for the owners, two more weeks of fans finding other things to do with their money, their time and most distressingly… their emotions.
I talk to my brother quite often and he shares with me how little he hears about the lockout on sports talk radio. Now… in a market like Nashville, hockey fans are used to being treated like the bald-headed step-children, but in a market like Philly… where I grew up and my brothers still lives… radio silence about the Flyers, especially when the Phillies came up short in their late season run, when the Eagles are playing out the string and the Sixers are disappointing… well, that is flat out scary.
The interesting thing about this whole situation is that the “casual fan” really hasn’t been impacted much by this lockout yet. For them it is “out of sight, out of mind.” That is to be expected, that’s why we refer to those types of fan as “casual.” When it comes down to the rabid fan, the passionate fan, the fan who is the lifeblood of the NHL, when they start to not care, well that’s where things begin to terrify me.
It’s time for the owners and the players to wise up. No one has cared about their spin since… well, since forever. No one believes what comes out of Donald Fehr’s mouth, except his fanboys in the mainstream hockey media… and no one believes what comes out of Gary Bettman’s mouth, especially Donald Fehr’s fanboys in the mainstream hockey media. It has gotten to the point where the messengers are plainly in the way of the message.
The hope of hockey fans rode on the owners/players meeting last week. Donald Fehr’s insistence to be in the room after progress was made scuttled things. When he made that decision, Fehr put himself above the game, the process and his team. Something so against the grain of our sport that it revealed his complete lack of understanding of the culture of hockey.
Let’s face it, the players weren’t in the room all alone with those big bad owners, Steve Fehr was in there the entire time, they HAD representation, but Donald Fehr’s ego got in the way… again… and the players are going to lose two more paychecks because of it. His ego-driven, greedy power move on Thursday has pushed the fans out of the player’s corner… don’t believe me? Look at the polls on Eklund’s “Polling 50 Players” post… an almost 180 degree turn from previous polling.
OK, the good news today is at least I don’t have to worry about working a game on Christmas, the bad news today is that I don’t know when I will work a game again…
- The news of today’s cancellation brings the number of games cancelled up to 526 of the 1230 regular season games. The players lost paychecks go up to 6 of their 13 season checks. Silly…
- In the game cancellations, Nashville has lost 36 games, 18 home and 18 away.
- Next up, expect to hear more about decertification… starting with a “Disclaimer of Interest.” For more information on that, read Richard Cloutier’s current post.
- Larry Brooks, in the NY Post with a counter-point to my last blog on Donald Fehr… here's the link
. I’ll say one thing for him… he is consistent in his flat out hatred for the commissioner.
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On the next SlapShot Radio
Good guest list this week, we have Craig Button from the NHL Network, Joe Yerdon from ProHockeyTalk on NBCSports.com and Eklund from hockeybuzz.com. That’s all on the next SlapShot Radio, Wednesday night at 7 on 102.5 the Game and the SlapShot Radio Network.
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