This time last week, cautious optimism surrounding the NHL lockout was flowing like a geyser from a liberated fire hydrant, drowning the fans with sweet dreams of the sport that once was, but might still be. Suddenly, the feelings of optimism are gone, and once again those who remain powerless are left feeling power-played.
The “secret meetings” (which were only a few blocks away from NHL HQ) have concluded with little ground gained. The perfunctory daily meetings between the second-in-commands appear to be happening with less frequency. Those on the outside looking in have been left to wonder how the two sides could appear so close without ever finding some common ground on the most important issues.
Does a sense of urgency exist? As a fan, am I supposed to be waiting with bated breath for the two sides to declare a mutual reason to come together, as if one doesn’t exist right in front of their faces, now with 327 games eliminated? Both sides are arguing over the revenue the league will generate, but if the NHL isn’t around to collect, does either side really stand to benefit? Why did it take so long to even get to this point; you couldn’t have started this process sooner?
We’re over the posturing and the waiting. We’ve been over it since well before the preseason was even supposed to commence.
This time around, a work stoppage will once again stunt the growth of a league that has become synonymous with the phrase “lockout.”
The hardcore fans will be livid, but they’ll be back. It’s the fair-weather fan — the one who has been catered to for much of Gary Bettman’s era — that is doing the forgetting, and they’ll be doing so in memory and in pocket change for the second time in eight years. Damage will be done, but will there even be any casual fans left to notice? Probably not, and that’s not good for any of the interested parties.
The most frustrating thing about it is that at the end of the day, it just doesn’t make any sense.
I’m going to start something new, and leave you with a new Flyers video every week that tickles my fancy. To kick things off, how about a little pump up speech from Peter Laviolette?
WHICH LEADS ME TO… another something new…my closing question to you:
When the puck is eventually dropped, if the Flyers fail to travel beyond the first round for no particular reason or get off to a slow start, does the ice become thinner for the coach who ultimately might have “chased” a pair of winners out of town? John Stevens doesn’t have a Cup to his credit, but he didn’t receive much leeway when the going got tough and the act grew stale.
To be clear, this isn’t intended to be a declaration of the coach’ss removal by any means. I just find myself pondering the next move if something were to go wrong.
What do you think? Feel free to discuss it in the comments or on twitter!