Greeting Caniacs! I am not about to start writing about our newly acquired free agents or the Canes Farm system. I won’t even mention the top ten things you can do at the PNC arena, when the absolute most important topic is the state of not only our Hurricanes but the National Hockey League as a whole. What once was lost is really lost. Neither the NHLPA nor the NHL is tipping their hand on what they will propose next. What we do know is that after watching Commissioner Gary Bettman speak live today, it is pretty much inevitable that the doors will be locked once again on Sunday at 12:01 am.
The two parties are doing what they do best, pointing the finger to the other side and tweeting how united they are. Here is a bit of advice for all involved in this deal ….”Why don’t you consider thinking about the one who ultimately puts the jingle in your jangle….The Fan?” Oh yeah, the guy that brings his hurricanes flags into the PNC Arena or the girl holding up the “I Love Jeff Skinner” sign. Here is another one for you NHL and NHLPA, try thinking about the usher that helps the fan find their seat (or in my case tells me to leave the third row behind the Hurricanes bench and go back up to section 333 where I came from). I understand both parties are” United” and ready to hunker down, holding their ground. Many times in the past few months we have heard the NHL compare the CBA to what the NFL and NBA had to go through but my advice to them is do not compare your situation to the other professional leagues. What makes our game so special is the type of product we see day in and day out. Whether our team is at the bottom of the standings or hoisting a Stanley Cup, what makes this sport better than the “other leagues” is the non-stop action that we all spend our hard earned dollar to see.
If you have followed this CBA process or if you just hear about it via tweets and blogs the bottom line is this… On Saturday things become real, painfully real for some people who are employed by the NHL teams. I am not talking about the players, I am talking about the employees who handle day to day operations for the players. When paychecks begin stopping, things become real for the people who support hockey the most. Make no mistake, the doors will be locked on Saturday. I just hope they don’t throw away the key to the entire year.