This morning at around 6:00am Eastern time, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA Director Donald Fehr appeared together at a press conference and announced to the few of us left who still care, that a framework for a new collective bargaining agreement has been reached.
There area a few things left to do. The legal document has to be written up. It then has to be presented to the league and union memberships. Then it needs to be ratified by both sides. This crap has gone on long enough that we can assume both sides will rubber stamp it, just so they can get back to work.
After that, a schedule will be announced. Players and coaches will gather together, and an abbreviated training camp will take place for about a week. Dougie Hamilton will show up to Bruins camp, and nut job Tim Thomas will not. After about a week the butchered, insultingly shortened season will commence and history will fill up a great big bucket with asterisks to place next to everything that happens.
The single most important thing left to do needs to happen before the games start. The fans need to keep their money.
I said it before, I’ll say it again. This disaster is the fans’ fault. If we had punished the league for its lack of loyalty last time, then this lockout would never have happened. We did not punish them though. We came back to the game with our wallets open, ready to blow our dough on tickets, merch, concessions, anything. I’m as guilty as the next sheep.
We, the fans, cannot… Must not… Make the same mistake again. Keep your money, hockey fans. Teach the NHL that our loyalty, and our money are not to be taken for granted. Show the league and the players union who the real bosses are. Teach them a lesson that they will never forget, and stop this bullshit from happening again.
Do not buy tickets. Do not buy merchandise. I’d like to say that we should boycott TV broadcasts, but I don’t think many of us will be able to go that far. I will say that we should continue to avoid doing business with companies that sponsor the league and the individual teams. That one is particularly important for me, being a Bruins fan, as word has it that Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs is due for a much larger share of blame pie than most owners.
I can’t expect fans to not watch the games. I can encourage all fans to not spend their money. Let all 30 teams play in empty buildings for their ridiculous shortened season. Let them know who was affected by this idiocy the most. Let them know who they really work for.