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Last night, I finally clued in enough to watch the ESPN broadcast of the World Cup of Hockey final, between Canada and Finland. (Note: Jeremy Roenick is interesting as a color commentator, and I am wondering whether this is indicative of his edging towards that as a post-pro career.) It was a really, really great game. Canada won, but that wasn't a foregone conclusion. And it was plastered all over with all kinds of bittersweetness because of the impending NHL lock-out, meaning -- would this be the last live hockey at this level that everyone was likely to see, perhaps for a long time?

As of 2:30 this afternoon, when much-loathed NHL commissioner Gary Bettman held his press conference, the answer is: yes. The lock-out is on. Meaning: the old collective bargaining agreement between the Players Association and the NHL/owners expires at midnight tonight. The negotiations are deadlocked. Let's be clear: the players are not striking. The owners are locking the players out. The upshot of this is *STILL* no pro ice hockey for the foreseeable future. (Will we get a half-season, if they wrap things up by January? Will we lose an entire year? Who knows?)

Everybody saw this coming, of course. It's not a real shocker, if you've been paying attention. But it still makes us sad. There's not a hell of a lot of goodwill towards either side, on the part of the fans, in this. There was a lock-out in 1994/95, too, the last time this came up; that resulted in a half-season. So, like MLB around the same time, the NHL used up their reserves of fan goodwill. It seems pretty stupid to have a repeat at this time, especially since it sounds like both sides are only more entrenched in their positions now (i.e. the owners feel that they allowed themselves to be scared into capitulating last time, and they've had to deal with 10 years' worth of economic hardship because of it, so they're bound and determined not to give in this time, blah blah, yadda yadda). (For the record: I can see the points that both sides have; I'm a teeny bit more on the players' side than on the owners'; and I think Gary Bettman should burn in hell.)

So now I'm sitting here, eyeing the Harvard Crimson schedule (season starts 10/23; ticket prices haven't been posted yet). And it'll be kind of cool to go to some of those games, yes -- and loads cheaper than figuring out what's enough within striking distance for me to travel to in order to see the Canucks (Boston; Long Island; NYC; maybe Columbus). But the thing is that while I'll get out to some games, I like bringing hockey into my own living room. Gotta figure out what, if anything, the sports channels will broadcast in place of NHL hockey, for the foreseeable future.



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 15th, 2004 03:42 pm (UTC)
no hockey....*sad*

i, too, have been looking into tix to the DU pioneers games, but since they won so damn big last season, the tix are getting a bit hard to come by...must start calling in favors...

this winter will just not be the same without some damn good body checking and god-like goaltending to watch.

Sep. 15th, 2004 04:56 pm (UTC)
There's always some lovely football?

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )