28 days later…

4 weeks ago today when the clock struck midnight it was announced that the lockout had become official. 4 weeks. 28 days. The clock ticks a little louder each day as more and more players flock to play overseas. The American Hockey League has officially kicked off their season with an overhaul of NHL vets filling their rosters. There has been little progress [translation: NO progress] in the latest round of CBA meetings and you can almost feel the tension building everywhere you look. The media is constantly looking to break the lack of news first or fabricating a story out of nothing. NHL executives and NHL Players alike are never short of vocabulary to voice their varying opinions on the ever important topic. 28 days later. 28 days later and still the face of the NHL, Sidney Crosby has not lost faith that BOTH sides will agree to a new CBA before the year is over. So it shall be that the face of the NHL continues to wait for such an agreement to come into place along with the rest of us. It has been said via an article published through Sportsnet that “Crosby would prefer to believe that the owners are committed to making a deal, but like many fellow players he can’t help but wonder if the lockout was something they long ago decided to use as a means to coax a better deal out of the union”. Is this just how negotiations work? Let’s hope not. Like many of the players and executives involved, Crosby is keeping close tabs on the CBA debate and still confident that both sides will work out a deal sooner rather than later….wow, you still have ONE current player who still believes that the season WILL happen. Lucky for you higher ups…it is the face of your NHL that has yet to lose faith. The question is are you willing to take that faith away? Let’s hope not…because that would be a tragedy.

When will the game return? Like Crosby many fans are asking when the REAL negotiations are going to happen and just what is their target date for the season to get back on track? 28 days later and still the same questions remain. What will it take to get both sides on the same side? How much money is the NHL willing to lose? When will the game return?

“It’s still early,” said Crosby. “There’s time for decisions to be made and to make sure that nobody does anything that they’re going to regret.” Like Crosby, I will continue to hold out hope that in the end no one does or says anything they will regret.

28 days later and the NHL has still not returned. You know, as a Canucks fan it is embedded in my DNA to NEVER cheer for Chicago…NEVER….but this lockout has me cheering for Chicago….#theWolves that is[not to worry fellow #Canuckfans, I am not and will not be rooting for the #blackhawks….EVER]. It is nice to have at least a few games to watch…between the AHL and the WHL[Chiefs & Giants]. Congrats to EBBETT on getting the #wolves first goal of the year & congrats to the team starting the year 2-0!!

28 days later and we still miss hockey even though some may claim they will not return to the game [we all know you will!]. 28 days later and the lockout still continues with no progress on the core economic issues. 28 days later and things are more or less the same. 28 days later and I still remain one of the few who have hope….but the longer this lockout endures the fewer who think the NHL will return.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

 

#BlackThursday

Hello & good-bye to what was supposed to be. Today is October 11th. Today marks what should be the start of the regular season in the NHL. Today should be the day that I begin all my crazed hockey rituals that drive my family insane. Today is supposed to game day. Game day means team colors all day long paired with my jersey! Today the entire city should be taken over by team colors…and local media looking to predict how each player will perform. The city should be basking in the excitement that comes with the opening day of the season! Opening day brings hope for every fan that their team has the potential to go all the way. The first game of the season means anything is possible. Today my #Canucks and five other teams were supposed to be starting their season -including the Stanley Cup winning Kings…who were supposed hang their championship banner as is tradition. Today was supposed to mark the beginning of another incredible season yet to come with the ending unknown. Yes the season’s ending is still unknown…but the certainty of the season taking place still hangs in the balance. Today is not supposed to be a day of cancelled games…today is supposed to be the start the wonderful unpredictability that is the regular season in the NHL. Today is being called ‘Black Thursday’ by the sports media to describe the feeling around the league in regards to what were supposed to be tonight’s games.  Instead of players discussing their excitement at tonight’s prospects and the long haul that is regular season…they all seem to be looking at a shortened season & the Winter Classic puck drop as the starting point. #BlackThursday is not a trend that is making any one happy…especially the fans. Yes the players and league executives are disappointed about the lost games…but until BOTH sides can see beyond the numbers and into a REAL discussion, they cannot move forward.

Yesterday the NHL and the NHLPA met for 5 hours and are meeting again this morning. Rumor has that while there has been little or no progress in the 3 + weeks since the lockout was enforced…that the NHLPA will be the one to blink first as they are reportedly  preparing to make yet another proposal. We’ll have to wait and see as negotiations continue to drone on as to just who really wants the game back….because while they all might say they want to see the game back on there is ONE group that certainly wants the game back sooner than later. The FANS of course! The fans deserve better. The fans deserve to not endure any more lost games. Give the fans back the regular season after the 24th…!

#EndtheLockout #gettheseasonBACKonTRACK

Today was supposed to be the beginning but thanks to an announcement by GB it is not. Please tell me that REAL progress occurs during this latest round of meetings! Lets cross our fingers and hope that both sides can come together in the next few weeks and make some REAL progress in the new CBA before more games are lost. #82isenough…let’s get the season started again! #nomoreBlackThursday!

I don’t know about the rest of the fans out there…but I am tired of both sides fighting over words and policies….I just miss the game we all love. I am tired of this horrible lockout state. I miss hockey, bring it back. The  only ones who can grant this wish are the ones disagreeing over who is right. #timeforrealconversations today! As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

It all begins with 82…

It was only a matter of time before the unraveling began. First the pre-season was lost partially and then completely canceled. Now, we have lost any games that would have been played beginning October 11th through October 24th. Thank-you, GB, thank-you.Once again one of my favourite traditions has been delayed yet again. Following the announcement of games off the table, the New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist tweeted this message of frustration: “Feels like I’m going to practice without a purpose, and I hate it! Don and Gary, let’s figure this one out! #NHLHockey #theplayers #thefans”. I agree with the hating it part. So, just how many games are lost? A total of 82 league wide regular season games gone from the season [granted there are usually more than 1100 league wide regular season games combined between the 30 teams…]. 82 games gone between 14 days. 82 games is the number that represents the length of the regular season for EACH team.  Oi vey. I hated hated hated hearing the announcement of the games cancelled which was followed by all the GM’s releasing statements in response. Yuck. More empty apologies from the league and all the GM’s about how important the fans are and how they understand our disappointment. Really? I don’t think so.  I will continue to hold out hope for November.  In lieu of NHL games that are currently on pause[until atleast the 24th]…Sportsnet is going to begin airing AHL games as of October 13th -Canucks fans can see the Wolves take on the Heat[Calgary’s affiliate] on October 20th 7PM pacific time.

As Fehr stated following the cancellation of this set of games: “A lockout should be the last resort in bargaining, not the strategy of first resort”….it certainly feels like the only strategy they[both sides] have resorted to lately is a war of words rather than making any actual progress.

Bobby Ryan is back at with more fighting words. First it was him stating very potently that he would welcome a trade out of Anaheim [following him signing an extension just one year ago!]. A few short weeks later he then apologized for making such statement and proclaimed his happiness to play in the sunshine state. NOW, Bobby Ryan is once again causing a media frenzy with his words…this time aimed at the players flocking overseas during the lockout. He believes that they should all stay and see this CBA debate through until a new deal is done rather than run away. I must say…I do agree with you Mr.Ryan! Now if only we could get the players, the owners, NHL & NHLPA executives to SIGN a new CBA any time now. Wouldn’t it be nice to wake up to news of the season being re-instated? I would love love love that announcement!

82 league wide regular season games are more than enough to have stolen. PLEASE GB, Daly, Fehr brothers, Owners, and Players, PLEASE just get back to the bargaining table and get that new CBA hammered out STAT, so that the fans are not forced into waiting until January1st or worse…losing an entire season!

Is it October yet? has now become #isOctoberOVERyet? followed by #isitNovemberYET? Can we just hear the news that #hockeyfans around the world want to hear? That hockey is back on….that would be nice.  #HockeyNowPleaseGB You got  your lockout hat trick Mr.Bettman…but please do not lose the whole year.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

Wayne’s World…

Well from the words of my blog to the words of Bobby Orr to the words of Wayne Gretzky…there is still hope for the upcoming season[albeit more than likely a shortened one…I’ll take it!]. Just as Orr is one of the best defencemen that ever played in the league and set the bar high for those who followed as he revolutionized his position…Wayne Gretzky redefined the game and set records of such heights that none will ever reach. Gretzky…a Canadian grown boy…dreamed of playing the game he loved for the country he loved…and guess what? He did so with style. Remember that 51 straight games point streak?? He helped lead Canada to a record win in the 1987 Canada Cup and helped Edmonton become the city of Champions they proudly state today [leading them to 4 cups in 5 years!]. He made Los Angeles a legitimate hockey town way before they made their historic run last spring. Did I forget to mention the trade that rocked the hockey world and broke the hearts of many Oilers fans before Gretzky become an LA all-star?  He did eventually retire in 1999. Then there was his aid in putting together the 2002 gold medal winning Olympic hockey team or his infamous carrying of the 2010 Olympic torch. In 20 NHL seasons, Gretzky played in 1487 regular season games scoring 894 goals and 1963 assists [amassing an astounding 2857 points!!]. In 208 playoff games Gretzky scored 122 goals and 260 assists[382 points!]. There has never been another player to play the way the Gretzky did. Many players have had their numbers retired by their respective teams…but NO player has ever had their number retired league wide…except Wayne Gretzky. The number 99 shall be worn by no other player and it will be hard for another player to ever impact the game the way Wayne Gretzky did. Yes there are other great players in the league today [Crosby, the Sedins, Malkin, Datsyuk, Ovechkin] but NONE will ever quite change the face of the game as he did. Maybe Crosby [at least in Canada] will come closest. Crosby has become one of the current prominent faces of the game…there was him helping Pittsburgh find their spark again in the playoffs [eventually led to a Stanley Cup in 2009] and Crosby has one thing Gretzky never got…an Olympic Gold medal. Crosby has set many records himself and will probably set a few more….but do I think he or any other player will ever eclipse Gretzky’s 2857 points? Probably not. Wayne Gretzky record of 292 points in one season and his all-time 2857 points are records that seem almost impossible to break in today’s league. Gretzky knew the game inside out better than any other player…and today his opinion of the game is still valid. Gretzky was quoted as saying that there will be a season by January 1st[aka the Winter Classic]. Do I wish there to be an agreement sooner?…heck yes….but alas these pesky negotiations seem like they will take some time. If Gretzky is allowed to optimistic about the season…so can I! #WaynesWorld #Excellent #endthelockoutalready #becauseGretzkysaidso

The NHL and the NHLPA met for 3 straight days [Friday-Sunday] and are expected to meet up once more on TODAY in NYC for another round of negotiations. Lets hope that their progress goes beyond the secondary issues. As I have said previously…there is room for optimism up until the Winter Classic. I think the league would be pretty stupid to cancel that particular game and lose the anticipated revenue that two Original Six teams will bring to the table. Here’s hoping that Bettman, the NHL executives, Fehr, the NHLPA executives, and the Players can meet somewhere in the middle sooner rather than later. #fingerscrossed

As the great CBA debate continues to dramatic, I encourage all fans to be optimistic.It is still early in the year…there is room for the season to be salvaged. We may not get the full season as we all desired…but I would take a shortened one rather than none at all.  As always, until next time, nuck said. #waynesworld

Sarah E.L.

Lockout Limbo

This is a story about how we got stuck in limbo. Lockout Limbo. That is where the fans, players and NHL executives are trapped until this CBA business is all tied up. It was only a matter of time before the NHL announced to canceling of the remaining pre-season games of 2012. Who cares about the pre-season! Just please tell me that these next  three days of meetings between the NHL and the PA will finally amount to something in regards to the long awaited CBA. Could their agreement on secondary issues be a sign that negotiations are finally becoming that…negotiations?  After 5 hours of meetings yesterday…the two sides were scheduled to meet again this morning at 7:00AM [pacific time] and again at some point on Sunday. Only time will tell if this round of meetings hold any wait. I’d like to say that with both sides agreeing on some secondary issues that there is hope that there will be some progress moving forward[probably not as quick as all the fans would like…but progress of any kind right now is a step forward!]. Oh how nice it would be to hear that these weekend discussions have led to some serious progress!

In other news Mr.Katz [aka the owner of the Edmonton Oilers] issued a public apology to the city of Edmonton for not taking the fans and their passion into consideration when he toured Seattle as a possible relocation destination. Maybe good old GB[aka Gary Bettman] should consider issuing an apology to ALL the fans of the NHL for this THIRD lockout limbo he has forced upon us.

Oh Lockout Limbo…how I hope you end so very soon. I am tired of it already…and all we have missed so far is the pre-season. Yesterday was National Jersey Day in Canada…and well you all know how I’ve been itching to sport the blue & green again…so I couldn’t resist:

MY FINGERS ARE CROSSED that as the pre-season is officially off the table that SOON GB & Fehr will announce a new CBA and the re-instate the season!!

Its time for this ridiculous Lockout Limbo to end. None of us enjoy this state of uncertainty as the *pending season* hangs in the balance. This story of the fans, NHL executives and NHL players being stuck in Lockout Limbo is driving me crazy! I just want the season to freaking start already!! Who’s with me?! I know, I know…this lockout has many people down…BUT I’m choosing to remain optimistic. You can join me or decide not to, the choice is yours. There is always room for hope even when some say no. I say what is the harm in having a little faith? There is none as it is my choice. I choose to be optimistic because there is point in being negative about something that I have no control over. Just because we are stuck in this oh this so terrible Lockout Limbo…does not mean that my love of the game is stuck in limbo. My love of hockey will continue regardless of the length of this Lockout Limbo corner that Bettman has forced us all into until that new CBA is reached. I must say…this corner of Lockout Limbo is crowded….it is high time to officially reward the fans with the remainder of the 2012-2013 season.

Do you remember when fans all around the league razzed one another about their ridiculous loyalty to their teams? That is the usual practice. The ONE positive thing about this Lockout Limbo is that ALL fans from ALL different teams are uniting together [regardless of their regular season loyalty] to make their voices heard as one

Oh Lockout Limbo….how tired of you I grow every day! Oh Lockout Limbo…how I look forward to [SOON…I hope!] hearing that you are no more. As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

We [the FANS] miss the game even more as October nears…

It is nearly October. My jersey is itching to come off the hanger as the calendars nears what is supposed to be the 1st game of the year. I do still have hope [yes you may think I’m naive but I choose to be optimistic despite all the naysayers!] that the season can be salvaged. It has only been 11 days since the lockout was officially enacted…but each day that passes as more players sign abroad and as players that are exceeding abroad is only making me miss the game even more. Yes there are other leagues…but none have quite the hold on me that the NHL or my Canucks do. There is a flickering of hope [yes hope…don’t call me naive, I’m only choosing to be optimistic rather than pessimistic!] as CBA talks are set to resume Friday between the NHL and the PA. It is time to just simply get a deal done. Will everyone be happy with the results when that day comes? Probably not…but someone is eventually going to have to cave before any progress can made.

The word lockout is not a welcome one in my vocabulary. Yet it has forced its way into it…and refuses to leave as long as this war of words continues between the NHL and the PA. The puck is not going to slap itself…let’s get a deal done so WE can ALL watch the game WE ALL love!!

Check out the link below for an awesome video montage that perfectly captures the game we all love:). All credit goes to ‘allisonwearsorange’ for creating this collection of great hockey moments:). The players may be locked out, but we the fans simply miss the game and moments we love like the ones in this video. Plus who doesn’t love the Springsteen vocals backing the video? Warning…this video may make you miss the game even more!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGDwr_TNqeQ

The players may be locked out but that doesn’t mean we stop being fans of the game and all the great moments that it has brought. The players may be locked out but that does not stop me loving the game. I may not be a fan of the politics that are responsible for delaying the game, but I am a fan of the game. When the game returns I will still be a fan. I look forward to all the moments that a new season brings….moments that some may predict and others that will completely take us by surprise. I look forward to the season that still yet to come [albeit a shortened one] and all the moments that will make us gasp and say “Did that just happen?” or make an entire arena stand on their feet in a state of absolute joy as their team has just scored the winning goal in sudden death overtime! Does it really matter who is right any more in this war of words between the two sides? [maybe that Detroit exec is regretting his comparison of the players to cattle after his $250,000 fine? Seriously? the players are cattle and the owners are ranch owners? That was definitely an unnecessary low blow.] Stop throwing insults at one another and realize that the fans simply miss the game not your money squabbles. Just because we are stuck in lockout mode, does not mean that fans have forgotten just how awesome hockey is….just click to link above for a reminder! The season from the moment it begins is unpredictable, each team will have its own ups and downs, each will have a stretch drive to the playoffs, and 16 teams will fight tooth and nail to make it to the final before ONE team wins it all. Do not rob the fans who have ALWAYS been loyal to the game. Get a deal done so we can all once again race to the arenas or race to watch the games with friends and family. Once again we can all go crazy together as we always do when the game is on and our team or favourite players are scoring goals and winning games. Bring back the game. Bring back the unpredictability. Bring back the ups and downs. Bring back the season. Bring back the simplicity that was the game. Bring back a deal that will unite the owners and the players. Bring back the 2012-2013 season so we can ALL celebrate a great season into June.

October is around the corner and usually that means the city is taken over by blue and green everywhere you look. Game days bring out everyone in their game day attire and all the transit buses sport ‘Go Canucks Go’ alternating with their route number. With no games yet to be officially announced or canceled, my jersey is itching to come off the hanger and be worn. I’m ready for my October traditions to come into full force. Like any hockey fan, I just want to watch hockey again [not espn or tsn classics but new games]. I am not going to join those who have jumped onto the NFL wagon, each game is brutal with their replacement refs [their usual refs are in their own CBA turmoil] determining questionable plays that determine the outcomes of games. Just let me watch hockey again, please. I remain hopeful that a deal can be reached to salvage the season. The way I see it…a new deal must be reached before the Winter Classic[but hopefully sooner] in order for there to still be a season this year.

#11daysandcounting #thelockoutcontinues

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

P.S. Did you watch that video yet?!! seriously check it out..it captures many great hockey moments!!

Back to you, Bob! Believe it ORR not…

If it’s not me of the Winter Classic trying to convince all the fans around the world that there just may be hope for the season yet…maybe you will at least consider hearing one of the all-time greatest defenseman to lace the skates voice his opinion on the matter. There is a statue of him near some arena in Boston. On a good night in some games, they say it seemed as though he could fly. His style and ability to move the puck from one end of the ice to the other almost effortlessly made him nearly unbeatable. He put the pedal to the metal in the setting of many records. How many defensemen in the league have won the Art Ross[most points in the regular season] more than once?! When was the last time a defenseman put up 100+ points let alone 139[the closest to that mark last season was Karlsson with 78 points]?? I am of course talking about Bobby Orr. Sincerely one of the greatest players to ever lace up the skates before his much too early retirement[at age 30!] due to injury. A career that was ended earlier than many had hoped…but in his 12 year career he amassed many NHL records….including 8 consecutive Norris trophies and 3 consecutive Hart trophies, 2 Art Ross Trophies, 2 Stanley Cups & 2 Conn Smythe Trophies. Not too mention that twice he scored the cup clinching goal. Bobby Orr knows hockey. Am I a fan of the Boston Bruins? NO. Will I ever be? NEVER. I am however a fan of Bobby Orr and the player that he was…how can one not admire his career an undeniable stats that by themselves nearly demand respect? Bobby Orr is one of the all-time greats that ever laced up the skates…and his opinion on the subject is one worth at least considering.

Bobby Orr was on the morning show “Breakfast Television”  Friday morning and offered up his professional opinion on the great debate that is the CBA debate. Orr said he absolutely “believes that there will be a season and that it would be outrageous not to have a season.” He also said that a fair deal can be reached and believes a new [and fair] CBA will be signed sooner than later. Orr also explained that is not only players and owners who are being affected, BUT the arena employees, businesses near the arenas, and minor league players who are losing their roster spots are feeling the hurt of the lockout.  Orr further stated his belief in the upcoming season by saying: “I think we’ll get most of the season in. Don and Gary are two smart guys, and there’s so much good in our game right now. There’s a lot at stake here. I think it can be done”

Believe it ORR not but I’m sticking by this Bruin[& only this Bruin] and his belief that a fair deal can be reached sooner rather than later and that we WILL get a season. It is too soon to cave to Bettman’s will and lose hope. There is still room for optimism. Just ask Bobby Orr and he will tell you that there will be a season…that is all.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.