The National Hockey League has done it again, staging another lockout for the fourth time in the past 20 seasons.
Unfortunately, the league's players and owners are fighting over billions of dollars, but it’s costing the average Joe much more than that. It's even hurting those residents, including the non-hockey fans in the Nashville Metro area.
If both sides do not come to an agreement soon, everyone involved will be hurt, and the sport might never be the same again.
Have they learned anything from the last time, when the NHL was lockout for the entire 2004-05 season, including no Stanley Cup playoffs?
As of now, it seems like the answer is no.
Of course, this lockout will affect Predator fans, Bridgestone Arena workers, and downtown restaurants. In their case, most of them care about the team.
However, there are also residents in the Davidson County area that are paying dearly for the lockout, and they want nothing to do with the team.
They should not be held responsible for the money spent on the team. It's really not fair to taxpayers, and that is the sad thing about this whole ordeal.
Maybe, when this lockout gets fixed, if it ever does, some of the money should go to the Nashville Metro area, and all of the other cites that host NHL teams in taxpayer-funded arenas for having to put up with this ordeal.
As for the two sides involved – the players and the owners – should be ashamed of themselves for not getting the new collective bargaining agreement completed by now.
Especially after what happened eight years ago with the entire season being wiped out because of a work stoppage. Since coming back, the following season, the sport as a whole has gotten so much better in all aspects.
The players are as good as ever, the television coverage is better thanks to the new contract with the NBC Sports Group, and the new rules have made the game itself more exciting.
Everything about the NHL had been moving in the right direction, until now with the latest labor issues. Will the league ever recover from this considering what happened in 2004?
Honestly, I do not think so.
When the last work stoppage ended, the NHL had a hard time regaining fans.
Now, it’s going to be a bigger issue to solve, if both sides ever come to an agreement.
As for myself, I had been a casual fan of the NHL since I was a child.
My favorite team, before Nashville was born in 1997, was the Colorado Avalanche. I enjoyed watching Avs players, Joe Sakic, Adam Foote, and many others on the high-scoring offense. The two-time Stanley Cup champions also had the best goaltender in the league, at that time, Patrick Roy. Man, those teams were fun to watch, especially when they faced the hated Detroit Red Wings in the playoffs.
Since that run ended, I started to follow the Preds more closely, especially in the playoffs.
Nothing beats the NHL Playoffs, it is the best postseason in all of sports.
However, it has been harder and harder to go to a Nashville game, because of high ticket prices, even in the cheap seats.
Back in college, my roommates and I went to several games, because of the $10 seats. Now, I know the team still has them, but they are really hard to get. Honestly, it's not worth the trouble to find them.
Now, I wonder if it is worth the trouble to keep following the “Coolest Game on Ice,” especially during this lockout.
Three out of the four major organizations, the NHL, NFL and NBA, have all had work stoppages in the past year. It looks like the NBA and NFL have recovered their labor issues with players, but that is because both leagues have huge fan bases.
The NHL does not.
This latest NHL lockout is not only hurting the league, but all of the other people who rely on the league.
I hope when it is all said and done, the fans will come back.
However, it might be too late.