As of 12 a.m. EST this morning, the NHL has officially locked out its players as the current collective bargaining agreement expired.
Not online at midnight last night? Then the news has been overshadowed this morning by NFL Sunday. Not like, the first NFL Sunday of the season, no, just an NFL Sunday. Typical.
At the risk of sounding redundant here, let me just break it down for you one more time: as of right now, THERE WILL BE NO 2012-2013 HOCKEY SEASON. As in: no games. None. Zilch. Zero. Capisce?
This will be the second time in just eight years the league has experienced a work stoppage. The last time wiped out the entire 2004-2005 season. The league had just recovered, acknowledging that hockey was at its best in decades before this whole debacle. There was viewership, there was variety, hell, a different team was winning the Stanley Cup almost every year. Now, that progression has been stopped dead in its tracks. Word is that the two sides are still extremely far apart on the core components of the proposed new CBA.
Apparently, Evgeni Malkin has wasted no time in jumping ship and has already signed a deal to go play in the Kontinental Hockey League in Russia. Way to be loyal to the league that named you MVP, dude. If NHL players are already giving up, how are we as fans supposed to have hope for a season?
We can’t even pretend this isn’t going on. As of this morning NHL.com has removed all ‘current’ player-related content. The NHL online store has also gotten rid of player-specific merchandise and all jerseys being sold now are blank.
I’m heartbroken; heartbroken, I tell ya. When are these owners, even players, going to realize your business exists because of us, your fans? We are the reason sports are successful. We are the reason you play. We are the reason you make ungodly amounts of money. Shouldn’t the focus be on making us happy? How about some customer service, NHL?