So it is August and the hockey community is pretty quiet. A few standard signings here and there, but nothing too crazy. There is one thing on the minds of every hockey fan, player, GM, and owner. That is obviously when will the NHLPA and the league owners come to an agreement. This of course means a lot of people are fretting and worrying over if there is going to be lockout.
First off, calm down, nothing has been annouced yet. If you’re keeping up to date, the NHLPA put some of their economically demands on the table for the league, but have not disclosed everything they want to talk about in their counter proposal. Reports are clear that the NHL and Bettman don’t really care about this counter so wait for them to fire back harder. The two parties have even put aside the economical terms to focus on hockey issues like player safety, ice conditions and travel.
I’m not here to regurgitate what other bloggers are already reporting, my intention is to put my personal spin on why letting this go into another player lockout is a horredous idea. It’s pretty obvious, but here are my reasons.
It hurts the fans:
If this does go to a lockout it will be the 3rd one with Bettman as the Commissioner. Fans already do not like the guy, so this just makes him look worse. I was in middle school when the last lockout out happened, and I remember that the Phantoms were still playing in the Spectrum. So the only good it did was sell Phantoms tickets. With the Flyers AHL affiliate in Upstate New York, this is doubtful to happen again. When this lockout happened it cancelled an entire season, and some fans did not come back. If another lockout happens this season, there is a guarantee that more fans will not come back to the NHL, which is bad for the league since that means less revenue.
It hurts smaller market teams:
With fans not coming back after the lockout is over, that means tickets for games won’t sell. This is already a problem for smaller market teams that have less interest in hockey in their cities. This past season we have seen a growth in some of these teams, but that will plummet again if this happens.
Bandwagon fans disappear:
I know to most loyal fans this might actually sound like a good thing, but it terms of revenue and the NHL gaining popularity in the States it makes things worse. People who have just discovered their love of hockey will forget it if things come to a lockout or a cancellation of a season. I understand why other fans might not like bandwagon fans, but the good thing about them is that they do create new revenue for franchises which ultimately helps gain the team and the sport popularity. So don’t knock bandwagons until you look at the numbers.
What are we going to write about?
Seriously what are the boys and I going to write and/or talk about on the podcast about if there isn’t a hockey season? I guess I could continue to blog about baseball and soccer, and maybe expand my clips with football and basketball, but it would not be the same. There is no sport quite like ice hockey. Honestly if a lockout happens my head might explode. You hear that Mr. Bettman? My head will explode, so this better not happen!
Thanks for reading this rant of a blog tonight!
You can follow me on Twitter @dmvasso