Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Hockey Is Nothing without the Fans

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Hockey Is Nothing without the Fans

Article excerpt

Editorial Exchange: Hockey is nothing without the fans

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An editorial from the Prince George Citizen, published Oct. 22:

It's Saturday night and you're not watching your professional sport, hockey fans.

Instead, you're watching the Cougars or the Spruce Kings. On TV, Canucks fans can swallow their pride and cheer for either the Abbotsford Heat, the farm team for the Calgary Flames, or the Chicago Wolves, Vancouver's top farm team.

Or there are fabulous Major League Baseball playoffs and some excellent football on both sides of the border. You'll be able to throw in some NBA basketball soon and there's always NASCAR.

If you are paying attention to the ongoing soap opera that is the NHL lockout, you are witnessing the epitome of bad behaviour - well-dressed young millionaires arguing with older well-dressed millionaires and billionaires about money.

Not only is there no chance of a full season of NHL hockey this year, there are an increasing number of hockey watchers betting that, for the second time in eight years, the entire season will be cancelled and the Stanley Cup will not be awarded next June.

This is the fourth time in 20 years hockey fans have put up with this nonsense, following the short season after the 1992 strike and the even shorter season after the 1994-95 lockout.

Unbelievably, the owners and the players killed the entire 2004-2005 season, yet here they are, threatening to do it again.

And you know whose fault it is?

Look in the mirror, loyal hockey fan.

When league commissioner Gary Bettman and player union boss Donald Fehr talk about a 50-50 split in revenues, they're not talking about the money of the owners or the money of the players.

No, they're talking about your money.

You are the source of their future revenues.

When they talk about revenues continuing to grow annually by five to seven per cent, they are talking about you spending more money and time following NHL hockey and then coercing your friends to do the same.

And both the players and the unions believe they deserve a bigger share of your money. …

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