If you were to log on to NHL.com and read the league's message to the fans posted yesterday, you would see that the NHL and its owners despite access to billions of dollars and access to technology that us regular folk probably cannot fathom, took the easy way out and decided to go old-school with a regular text message to the fans probably written by a very expensive public relations specialist as opposed to the ever popular move of posting things on social media such as a well produced YouTube video.
One can’t help but wonder why such rich owners could not come up with a good concept for a video and get a producer on the phone. I’m sure they have enough money to hire Steven Spielberg on a freelance basis and they could probably use Ethernet technology to upload Hollywood produced commercial within 10 seconds. That just goes to demonstrate a lack of commitment that the owners of showing to this coming NHL season. All hope is lost!
All kidding aside the most important headlines available on NHL.com right now include the fact that three young stars are headed to the American hockey league so that they can keep playing while the lockout continues. The three young stars include the Carolina Hurricanes’ Jeff Skinner, the New Jersey Devils’ Adam Henrique and the Edmonton Oilers’ Ryan Nugent-Hopkins among others. Sure, if you are not a fan of one of these teams then you could care less about where these players are going to play but that’s the way the cookie crumbles during the lockout… all you get is a bunch of little blurbs about the other places players are going to in order to make their money and improve on their game.
I have to say though after reading both the messages from the players and the owners, the players seem to have the edge in the minds of the fans right now (although both sides seem like greedy jerks right now and they are). The players’ message seemed to draw on what they are feeling as individuals in terms of how much they love hockey and how much they realize the importance of getting back on the ice for the sake of the fans and the game of hockey. In contrast, dealers have mentioned the importance of getting back to playing hockey but they have also touched on how much sponsors love the new game and how they want everything to be fair economically, and how the past seven years are proof that locking out is worth it in terms of money and the financial health of the NHL’s 30 teams.
The problem with the league’s message is that it is mostly about money and the majority of NHL fans don’t care about whether or not there are 30 teams in the league. Sure there will be a select few friends in Phoenix who would be up in arms if the team moved somewhere, but I think most of us would rather just see hockey being played whether or not all teams are considered "healthy" or not. Besides, the owners continue to position themselves using the same arguments they used almost 8 years ago today and fans are perfectly within their rights to lose their patience and not pay attention to what is happening in the NHL these days. Of course because the owners have more money they will win the fight and get most of what they want in the lockout, especially as the days pass by faster and faster, but it seems like the players are committed to grabbing us fans by the heart and getting us on their side. Whether or not that helps them in the boardroom remains to be seen.
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