If you’re still following the progress of the disastrous NHL lockout then you’ll know that as of a couple of days ago, a further two weeks’ worth of games have been cancelled, all the way up to the 14 December. In addition the All Stars weekend, to be hosted by Columbus, has also been thrown into what is now a bin filled with 422 regular season games, almost 35% of the entire season’s schedule. Couple that with wiping out the All-Star Skills Competition and the All-Star Fantasy Draft and you truly dismiss any compensating opportunity for fans to get involved in the sport at all.
Oh and while you’ve got your marker, the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, the annual New Year’s Day event, has also got the chop due to the pivotal absence of the elusive CBA so strike that off your anti-hockey calendar too.
What does all this mean? Essentially nothing that isn’t remotely unexpected by twiddly-thumbed fans. More games to be missed and a premature yet predictable guess that the 2012 side of the season is a complete write-off. While fans who bought tickets to January’s All-Star game in Ohio will get a refund, it’s a massive kick in the guts for them given this would’ve been the first time the city was to host the event in its history.
…who can muster the unethical strength to get behind the remaining season anyway?
Over at the bargaining table, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services (FMCS) have now entered the fray to get negotiations to the mirage they call the resolution stage. These guys have a reservoir of dealings of this kind of nature, having only last year navigated labour disputes that threatened both the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Football League (NFL). While their services are non-binding it’s certainly a move in the right direction and their employment appears to be the only thing the NHL and NHLPA can agree on.
But whether you’re angry or apathetic to the situation and you, somewhat unbelievably, haven’t joined the mass spectator migration to MLB, the NFL or the NBA then you should probably do so. The FMCS might be able to move things along but honestly, who can muster the unethical strength to get behind the remaining season anyway? I struggle to keep an interest in sports politics that are run by the greedy few.