The NHL is back! Whoop de doo, whoop de doo!
That was typed in sarcastically by yours truly and the reason is I just don’t care at this point. I might care next fall but right now I’m just trying to wrap my head around why I should be happy about two groups of very rich people who just gave a very loyal fan base the equivalent of a face wash with a wet, stinky hockey glove.
The deal signed after 16 hours of jabbering was not far from the one Gary Bettman decided wasn’t worth talking about months ago and then when it was time to talk, Donald Fehr decided he wasn’t willing to be in the same room as the owners so the doors were shut.
This was done by a business which was making some serious coin, not one in dire straits. Go figure that one out.
This whole mess could have been avoided and there would be a different column being banged out right now but instead the damage has been done and we as fans are still feeling the kick to the groin.
How so you ask? All the details of the new deal have been announced and dissected by the experts but there is one detail which has not been mentioned. That would be an apology of some sort and with plenty of feeling from the two sides who held their fans hostage for 113 days.
Not a peep. I did hear Mr. Bettman say that would be addressed at a later date. What? This should have been the first order of business when the pair stood before the cameras early that morning to announce a deal.
This business is so self-centred it’s beyond belief and I know there are many people who will direct their dollars elsewhere but who are we kidding?
On this side of the border the fans will be back even though small pockets of people will hold their protest.
On the other side it might be a different story as many of those franchises are in cities where there are other pro sports and so the fight for the dollar is a lot tighter. There could be some damage done in the smaller markets where the fan base is more curious than fanatical.
The silver lining in this one is the businesses which depended on the NHL can now pay their employees who have suffered along for 113 days. But don’t expect an apology from the owners or players.