I’ve tried my hardest to not discuss the potential NHL lockout. Now that it looms, I’ll tell you why I refused to make any mention of the lockout in my articles.
For one, I don’t fully understand what the owners and players are thinking. I do understand that it all come down to money. What I mean is, how could the NHL and NHLPA allow their situation to get like this? Did they not learn from the NBA’s lockout last year?
Secondly, I’ve refused to let myself get enraptured by the possibility of a lockout. Meaning, I’ve barely read any pieces on the lockout. I know the basics and I know the numbers, but I could care less about anything else. What I care about is hockey. I want to watch my beloved Flyers and the NHL. I don’t read every article because it is either different reporters regurgitating the same facts or “sources” that aren’t really much of sources at all.
Finally, I did not want to believe that a lockout could happen. The NHL is coming off an extremely popular playoff run where the game has captivated a number of new fans. Furthermore, television ratings were on the rise. Why would the NHL and NHLPA allow greed to play a role in hurting the game they supposedly love? The game has been hurt before because of a lockout. Don’t let it happen again.
I love hockey. It pains me to say that I agree with Gary Bettman when he says, “the fans will come back.” He’s right. But what Bettman did not take into account was the newfound popularity the game has gained. Lose your casual fans, lose money.
It is simple economics. You can’t spend what you don’t have. Teams need to learn that. Players need to learn that. And, most of all, the NHL needs to learn that.