So here we are,
exactly two weeks into the NHL lockout, and you know how they say no news is
good news? Well in this case, no news is just that - no news.
absolutely nothing has changed since my last writing. Gary Bettman and Bob
Goodenow have both made separate appearances on a couple of Canadian talk shows,
namely “Your Turn”, part of the CBC’s nightly news digest “The National”, yet
they had nothing to say which we haven’t already heard 100 times. They both
were very coy in answering questions from concerned fans over why we’re in this
mess to begin with, both very careful not to say anything which could endanger
the possibility of talks, whenever or wherever they may take place.
Let’s make no
mistake, both sides have their positions, and neither side is willing to budge,
period. The so called leaders of both sides are, for whatever reason, not in a
position to discuss anything. The prediction from many is this thing may not
get resolved this year or even next. The only fitting way to describe it is to
think of two kids at the local playground fighting over which way they want to
go on the slide – up or down – all the while both kids knowing full well the
slide was only designed for going down.
The people you
really have to feel for here are not the owners, the players, the fans, or the
league. It’s the people whose very livelihoods depend on the sport, the folks
who work in the restaurants, bars, and concession stands – the folks who check
your ticket stubs – the people selling 50/50 tickets on the main concourse – not
to mention the future stars of our game, the younger fans and younger players
who don’t fully understand the economic issues, and even if they do, don’t
understand why the two sides can’t just get it done. Believe me they aren’t the
So, until the NHL
or NHLPA have anything concrete to say, here are just a few things you won’t see
me do or mention within the realm of this column or on my website. Call it my
pledge to you the fans and loyal readers, in the hopes I can actually write
about something other than the nothing we’re now experiencing. And if not, well
at least you can’t blame me for trying to shed some light on an otherwise dismal
I will not start any of
my subsequent columns with “This is now day ___ of the lockout, have you lost
your freakin’ mind yet?”
I will not write a third
article on how to combat hockey withdrawal – after all, I’m not George Lucas and
this is not Star Wars. (If you'd like to read my previous offerings on the
subject, please click here and/or
here - or check the Archives page).
I will not renew my
subscription to The Hockey News.
I will not mention the
words “hip”, “check”, “slap”, or “shot” in the same sentence.
I will not spend $600
for an in house pop machine cooler with customized NHL logo panels – the fridge
in the kitchen is just fine thank you.
I will not poke fun at
or undermine any fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs or New York Rangers – they will
suffer enough once this is all said and done as they’ll have to watch players
who are said and done.
I will not eat at Wayne
Gretzky’s restaurant, at least not in the foreseeable future (unless of course I
happen to win the lottery in which case I will celebrate with the Great One
himself at his private table while we discuss plans to build a similar
restaurant in Ottawa).
I will not say anything
derogatory about Tie Domi, Todd Bertuzzi, or (insert name here).
While we’re on the topic
of Bertuzzi, I will not begrudge him his right to make his wrought iron
fence higher than officially allowed in Kitchener.
I will not criticize the
NHL method of officiating or lack thereof.
I will not talk about
any team attempting to “buy the Stanley Cup” – in fact, if we don’t have a
season it would be interesting to see which team will try it first (my bet’s on
I will not cry if there
is not an NHL Draft in Ottawa next summer, even though it will mean “the next
one” Sidney Crosby will have to play one more year in the “Q” League.
I will not miss Gary
Bettman’s yearly All Star break “I promise the fans we will fix this” interview
with Ron Maclean – in fact, I will not miss the All Star Game.
I will not miss Peter
I will not be ordering
the Bettman/Goodenow special at the local pizzeria.
I will not see Don
Cherry get fired – nor will I buy another one of his Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em DVDs.
I will not pay attention to
anything Jeremy Roenick or Brett Hull has to say.
I will not pay 50 cents
more for a Tim Horton’s coffee unless they come out with a double extra large
size exclusive to NHL arenas – watch the lineups then.
I will not order the NHL
Centre Ice package if they wait until January to drop the puck – as a matter of
principle, I may not order it ever again.
I will not support the
Ontario Stars Hockey League tour which looks as though it might already be
defunct after only two games played.
I will not watch Trading
Places during the same timeslot Hockey Night In Canada would have played.
I will not hold my
breath waiting for McFarlane to release the next series of NHL collectible
action figures – as of this writing a higher priority seems to have been placed
on an Elvis Presley “Viva Las Vegas” figure.
I will not travel to
Toronto or Hamilton to see an AHL game (although Syracuse or Binghamton are
distinct possibilities and are closer to Ottawa).
I will not purposely
dress in my favorite NHL team colors.
I will not answer any
more spam joke e-mails asking for me to donate a portion of my salary towards a
locked out NHL player – give it up already folks, it was funny the first time,
but the novelty has since worn off!
I will not lose any
sleep during the course of the lockout.
I will not resume couch
potato status when NHL hockey resumes.
I won’t waste any more time telling
you what I won’t do, so here are a few things you can count on until the NHL
goes about their business again, whenever that may be.
I will go watch the
Ottawa 67s play, the price of admission costing less than a beer costs at an NHL
I will watch the next
World Junior and Memorial Cup tournaments with great interest.
I will watch the World
Series in its entirety for the first time since 1994.
I will review NHL 2K5
and NHL 2005 within the next few weeks.
I will try to sit down
on a Sunday and watch football – the CFL not NFL.
I will treat every “Sens
Insider” e-mail as spam.
I will buy as many $6.88
Wal-Mart bargain bin DVDs as humanly possible – and actually sit down and watch
I will count the days
until “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” is released and will be first in line to
pick up my already reserved copy.
I will keep writing a
column at least once a month.
And I will find
something else to do – in fact there’s a shopping centre, a movie theatre, a
high school rink and a bingo hall, all within walking distance. It could be a
very interesting fall and/or winter.
Take care folks,
and stay tuned for more right here. Next time around I hope to actually have
something to talk about.