I am glad that the NHL is returning.
At the beginning, I believed that neither side wanted to lose the season. Based on some of my tweets, obviously my faith wavered. In the end both sides I think got the best deal they could. It's incredibly frustrating that this deal didn't happen three months ago, and that the lockout could've instead lasted only long enough to cancel the pre-season games.
So as fans in the State of Hockey, where do we go from here?
I can't speak for everyone, but what you want to do regarding your fandom is your business. I know my place in the blogosphere. If you're reading this, it's probably because your looking for a little more to read after checking out Russo, Hockey Wilderness, First Round Bust, or any other number of fine Wild fan content available in this amazing world of blogging.
That is to say, if you're reading this, your passion for hockey is probably much closer to strong than casual. Among my twitter followers, this seems to manifest it self in one of two ways. The majority want to find a way to further punish the NHL, boycotts, merch, swearing off the game. Others just didn't want to care about the lockout and wanted to watch games again.
I had some moments in the former category, but honestly, I think I always knew I'd be ready to watch again. I had one angry night during this lockout, and I tweeted some things I regret. (Something I still plan to address in a future post.) Inspired by a Puck Daddy post, I decided to stop wearing Wild merchandise. A decision that cut my wardrobe in half. But I figured if there was no league, there's no reason I need to promote the team. (By the same token, part of why I didn't blog a lot either.)
I do hope the league and PA have learned their lesson. If the league, as they were claiming, lost $20 Million a day, then by no standard was the lockout worth it for them. No was it worth it for players that probably just torched 10-15 per cent of their career earnings, assuming an average NHL career is about four years.
Both sides have suffered, and I believe it because it is now three times that both leaderships were interested in victory over partnership. I can hope they learned their lesson, but if they haven't that's their fault, not mine.
I believe the NHL, especially live, is one of the best forms of entertainment in the world. That said, if they want to torch it and hurt themselves. I can find other things to do. I actually reunited my love with the Vikings this year. Unlike most American sports fans. The NFL runs a distant second to me, but I was glad to join in and make it number one for a while.
I probably should've gone and supported more High School and College games. There's still time for that this year though.
So I'm willing to forgive and hope for the best in 8 years. I'll watch most games on TV, live tweet with everyone, and get tickets for a few games.
If you feel differently that's your right. If you want to avoid the NHL, and the lockout has truly made you hate the NHL game, that's up to you. For me, I don't see the point. If you like the game, watch. If you don't that's fine too. In the end that's the only decision that should matter.
If I want to do something positive. I'll start encouraging players and owners to start talking in four years, just in case it takes them four full years to get an extension done.