Lockout looming & I hate the word LOCKOUT even more…it is not welcome in my vocabulary…

Seriously…the players are needed to keep this great tradition called HOCKEY going. The word lockout is not a welcome one in my vocabulary…except for in this post…

I absolutely hate the word lockout and all that it embodies. The word lockout is one that ALL sports fans [but mostly hockey fans] loath to hear coming from the league executives. It is a word that brings with it days, months or even a year without the sport that gives every player the chance to rise above themselves. 30 teams vying for the same goal and in the end only ONE will be left standing after 82 regular season games[or maybe less if there is a short lockout or none until October 2013] and 4 intensely fought rounds in the playoffs. No other professional sport has ever lost an entire season due to a lockout and there is a possibility that with Bettman there will be a second one lost. Like I said I hate the word lockout and all the negatives it brings about. A lockout will take away the excitement that comes to each city as the calendar turns to October. There will be no Saturday night hockey nights. There will be no can’t miss games between bitter rivals. There will be no All-Star game and possibly no Winter Classic.There will be no moments of the unexpected, no hat tricks, no moments of sheer magic that can occur in one game on a particular night. There will be no streak achieved. There will be no games to remember. There might be a few exhibition games between NHL and KHL players should there be a lockout…but that would only be a handful of games….and would not compare to the grind that is the regular season and the level of excitement when playoffs begin. Playoffs are an entire different level of excitement..16 teams qualify…but ONLY one will win it all. There will be no victory parade for the team that wins because with a lockout NO ONE wins. There will not be any playoffs if Bettman gets his desire to stick to his gamble that the players must give in and that league will not lose any fans.Get real Bettman…we have been here before and YES the fans returned last time…but a second full season lockout will not be taken lightly at all. The fans have spoken but will we be heard? Not too mention a lockout will cause the NHL to lose more money than the last lockout…is it worth it? Simply put, NO. It is not worth another entire season lost just to make a ridiculous point…how many more points does Bettman want to make? It would be the 2nd lockout in less than 10 years?! Does that not sound wrong to anyone else? Who’s with me? It is not too much to ask that he return some respect to the fans and in turn they may start to respect him?…did I just say that? yikes…I must miss hockey! If Bettman wants to gain some respect back first the fans will have to be given a FULL season…and he WILL have to hold EVERY team and player to the SAME standard regarding the rules[aka when a player breaks another player’s vertebrae{Pacioretty when Chara rammed him into the stanchion received only a penalty!} or puts another player in a back brace{Raymond game 6…Rome got 4 games for causing a concussion…Boychuk got NOTHING for breaking Raymond’s back..disgusting!}….there should be more than the nothing that was given to either Bruin….or when a goalie is full on attacked outside his crease{when Lucic took out Miller.. he got ONE game…that is all…that was ludicrous!} there should be some accountability for ALL players{and then there was the example of Torres getting 25 games….} and NO favoritism or antagonism for one team or player whenever the league begins again.

What do the fans want? We want the season to start on time. Will that happen? That is yet to be determined….as the ever looming September 15th deadline from Bettman inches closer.

The season is supposed to begin October 11th…but it very well could be delayed or be canceled completely. If it is a brief lockout[aka 2 months or so] that wouldn’t be the worst thing…yes there would not be an 82 game schedule…but each team would play same amount of games in the shortened season…but still need the elusive 16 wins to earn the Stanley Cup. A shortened season does not diminish the victory…just ask the 1995 cup winning Devils and their at the time rising star Martin Brodeur[he now has 3 cups to his name & 2 Olympic GOLD medals!] or this year’s NBA Champion Lebron James and the Miami Heart! A shortened season may cause some disappointment but it would be WAY better than a full season lost because of sheer stubbornness.

I really truly do despise the word lockout and all that comes with it whenever it comes to pass in sports…but especially when it follows the acronym NHL.

DEAR, NHL & NHLPA…lets get this deal done PLEASE! -Sincerely, the fans.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

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