It’s over. It’s finally over. The stupidest work stoppage in the history of pro sports is over. I’m not ready to forgive. But I am ready to forget. I’m ready to throw on the blinders and focus on a 48 game #CBJ hockey schedule. As frustrated and angry as I was about the lockout, I’m ready to bottle that up and move on. Hockey is back and, dammit, I’m excited.
I avoided writing any blog posts about the lockout while it was ongoing because there was nothing I could say that hadn’t already been said. Of course that didn’t stop me from tweeting about it (sorry about that, followers. Truly.).
There was only one moment in the course of the lockout that I truly thought the season would be lost and it lasted roughly one hour. Maybe it was just naivety but I never could comprehend that either the players or owners would be stupid enough to cancel another season. It was only after watching Gary Bettman’s now legendary, rage fueled, press conference that I thought there just might be a chance this season wasn’t going to happen. It was, of all people, former #CBJ player Scottie Upshall that restored my faith in the season happening:
There’s no pressure yet on the owners to lose this year, that’s why they still treat us like Cattle.They’ll need a partner come January.
— Scottie Upshall (@ScottieUpshall) December 7, 2012
Once I saw this tweet the “script” as I’ve been calling it became clear. The NHL was never going to put forth their best offer until the season was on the line. And the PA was never going to accept an offer until that same point because they were never going to believe it was the NHL’s best offer. As fellow #CBJ Community Leader, Alison Lukan, has been stating for months “they both share the blame equally” and I’ve only recently realized how right she is. I’ve always been on the player’s side of these negotiations but she’s exactly right. There’s so little trust between the two sides that we lost half a season while they waited each other out over something they could have resolved in September. Perhaps if the season was on the line in September this never would have happened. I can now only hope that by the time the 8-10 year CBA expires neither Bettman or Fehr are still in their current positions. The “wait them out” tactic worked so well this time that I don’t doubt Fehr will hesitate use it again next time.
But, it’s over. Hockey is back. And I’m excited.
I’m most excited for the arena workers and Arena District businesses and the freelancers that only get paid when there are games being played. I’m excited for the amazing CBJ staff. The social media team did an excellent job of keeping the fanbase active and engaged in CBJ related events during the lockout. As frustrated as we all were, they must have been exponentially more so. And finally I’m excited for the fans. The fans didn’t deserve any of this. The fact that millionaires fought with billionaires over how to share the money that they the fans willingly provide them, while the fans were the ones most hurt by the lockout, completely boggles my mind (this while the NHL is considered a ‘tax exempt’ organization by the U.S. Government of all things…).
But it’s over! Hockey is back! And I’m excited!
I’m excited for 1st period intermission tweet-ups at the cannon. I’m excited for away game watching parties, or #CBJTweetUpDrinkUp’s. I’m excited to take my oldest son to #CBJ training camp for the 3rd straight season (a tradition he has yet to miss). I’m excited for spirited debate on twitter over line combinations and potential trades. I’m excited to see the new guys in action. I’m excited to see if Mason truly has improved or if it really is Bob’s job. I’m excited to see if Cam can continue his scoring touch from the end of last season (and this AHL season). I’m excited to see if Controlled Chaos can make an impact on the league or if they will fail miserably as the advanced stats guys keep saying they will. I’m excited to see the “Russian Rearguard” back in action. I’m excited to see how much better this team is going to be than last year’s team (something I 100% believe will be the case). I’m excited to finally get to both Join the Battle and Defend NWA.
Hockey is back! And, dammit, I’m excited!