All Tricks No Treats

Bruce Bennett

NHL fans are left feeling like Charlie Brown getting a rock in their collective trick or treat bags with no hockey this Halloween.

NFL fans are in the midst of another intriguing season. NBA fans are full of hope as their teams open the season this week. MLB fans can bask in memories of a rather exciting post season, minus the dull World Series. NHL fans are left with nothing, as we remain the bastard step children of the sports world. Instead of seeing NHL players dressing in offensive costumes I would much rather see them dressing as employed hockey players this year.

The league is reportedly set to cancel the Winter Classic this week, which will be another black eye on the sport. Is it a scare tactic? I don't think so. The owners have proven they will cancel everything in sight to get what they want. This is supposed to be the NHL's marquee one day event. They were looking to set a world record for attendance at hockey game. But the owners are more than willing to pass up all the good PR, exposure and millions of dollars in revenue to get what they want.

And meanwhile there are no negotiations happening nor are there any scheduled. How can you save the Winter Classic and the season if the two sides refuse to meet. The owners and players are close on a lot of the core issues but will not try and find the middle ground. The owners expect the players to fold like they did in 2005. Donald Fehr is doing exactly what he was hired to do. So, until there is actually some progress or a deal made, I am done talking about the stupidity that is plaguing the NHL.

Go ahead and cancel the Winter Classic. I can use the money I was going use for it on making a happier holiday season for my family. Go ahead and cancel the entire season and give me back the money for my season tickets. The money I have to save up for all year long. The money I have to cut corners and make sacrifices for in order to go see the team I love play. The money I needed to come with two months earlier than usual this year. The money for the seats that have gone from $15 a game to $28 a game in three years. If you are willing to alienate the tens of thousands of fans like myself who have chosen the NHL over other luxuries, then shit or get off the pot already! I am done listening to both sides try and win a meaningless PR battle. All the fans want is our NHL back.

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