This has to be said: the NHL is the most dysfunctional and poorly-managed league in North American sports. With the fourth lockout in the last 20 years still looming among us and with no apparent end in sight, many diehard NHL fans, myself included, are fed up and tired of this bullshit.
Regardless of if you are on the “side” of the players or the owners, both are to blame for the most recent lockout. Why? Simply put, the NHL and NHLPA could give a rats a$$ about their fans, who are the reason why they have careers that allow them to squabble over amounts of money that most of us will never see in our lifetime. Since the NHL (from now on “NHL” will mean both the NHL and NHLPA) cannot seem to listen to its fans or take seriously our want for nothing but hockey to be played – it’s time to take action. But how? How can the fans let the NHL know that putting them so low on their priority list and their refusal to compromise with one another is not acceptable?
We stop watching games on TV, we stop buying merchandise, we stop going to games, and we stop associating ourselves with anything to do with the NHL. Can you imagine what would happen if even 50% of current fans went on their own “lockout” and banned everything associated with the NHL from their lives? Do you think the NHL would listen? Of course they would and they would come running with gifts, begging us to come back.
We need (especially within Canada) to stop bitching about how there is no good quality hockey without the NHL (which is a load of crap). There are still tons of entertaining hockey games to watch: the AHL, CHL, and NCAA most notably all produce just as good, and sometimes even better quality games than the NHL. So why don’t we satisfy our cravings for hockey that way? Why don’t we stop bitching and take a stand and actually do something within our power to show the NHL that ignoring their fans is not OK?
Watch minor league hockey, take up a new sport, or play table hockey till the end of time. Do whatever you have to do. When the NHL comes back, I know I won’t be watching nor having anything to do with the league until the NHL finds a way to compromise and find a legitimate cooperation agreement between the owners and players. We need to do this so that we can end this crap of a lockout every five years. If you all follow in my footsteps, however unrealistic it may seem, we could make a real change.