Fans And The Lockout


What, no devil horns? Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-US PRESSWIRE

Hi, Wings fans.  My name is Kevin.  I’ve been a Staff Writer here at Octopus Thrower since January.  I enjoy writing here because I have a (healthy?) obsession with the Wings and hockey in general.  I am not a writer by trade – I have a degree in Accounting and Information Technology and currently work in that field.  This is mostly why I stick to my Goal Analysis posts – they’re fun, educational hockey posts that don’t require me to do a ton of writing.  I’m going to try and actually write something about the lockout today, so hang in there.

There is nothing us fans can realistically do to either prevent the lockout or make it end sooner.

I know there are a few fan protests going on right now. We have the Occupy NHL Store movement.  We also have the No Hockey Lockout page up and kicking on additional protests going on in the world.  I understand why people are getting behind these.  It’s a show of force that hopefully will make the NHL and NHLPA actually, you know, do something instead of taking us for granted.  It won’t help, but if it makes the fans feel better, I’m good with it.

If only our voices mattered.  The most popular NHL player on Twitter, Paul Bissonnette tweeted this on September 12th, three days before the scheduled Lockout:

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The sad part is that he’s right.  However, without the fans, he doesn’t have a job in North America PLAYING HOCKEY.  Neither does Henrik Zetterberg.  Or Mikael Samuelsson (positives?).  Or Gustav Nyquist (way more negative here).  Most of us are on the players side (as we should be, to a point), but they still have a good amount of the blame.

So, what about the owners?  Well, they haven’t really said much during the CBA process.  In fact, they have authorized Gary Bettman and Bill Daly to speak on their behalf.  This is why you haven’t seen Illitch or Holland talking much about the CBA/impending doom of a Lockout recently.  I know we all think the players make enough money, but you realize how much money you have to have to BUY an NHL team?  Millionaires fighting Billionaires.  No good can come from this.

This leaves “the little guys” who get screwed in a lockout.  Your favorite beer vendor at The Joe?  The ushers at each section of The Joe?  Front office support staff?  Bars and restaurants around the rinks?  The city of Traverse City?  Yep, all of these people are the ones who get truly hurt in a labor dispute.  Obviously, this blows for us fans, but in reality, I’m just saving money.  Every game that gets cancelled, I will get money back.  Being an accountant, that rules.  But it sucks even more for the hockey fan in me.  I’m not losing part of my income like these people will be, and that’s where the true shame is in all of this crap.

I really wish we could do something as fans to help end this CBA madness and prevent it from happening in the future.  We’re not going to refuse to come back to the game.  Let’s be realistic.  Hell, I remember WHERE I WAS the first game after the 2004-2005 Lockout.  I wore my Wings jersey to class/work and was so giddy for regular season games in the NHL again.  I bet we’ll all feel the same way as soon as the Lockout ends.

I know it won’t matter in the slightest, but I do have my own personal “Lockout Protest” planned.  As of midnight tonight, once the Lockout commences,  I will refuse to wear anything Wings or NHL related.  This is a huge percent of my wardrobe, so I miiiight be asking people for fashion advice.  I’m also going to not buy anything Wings related.  This should be easier as I’ll just let the accountant in me win.  I know it won’t do anything, but hey, it makes me feel better, so I’m good with it.

I also find it somewhat comforting that I have a rec hockey game tonight at 11:25pm.  Yes, I’ll be playing hockey when the Lockout begins.  At least someone will be doing that…

What are your personal Lockout protests?  Let me know on the twitter device (@KevinN37) and maybe I’ll join you in fan-solidarity!  Until next time…

Do they sell Grand Rapids Griffins hats in Southeastern Michigan?