Thoughts From a Frustrated Hockey Fan

Take it from a frustrated hockey fan who has season tickets – this season is a bust.

No kidding – you might reply – we'd be lucky to get in a 40 game season at this point.

Thing is, there are still those fans (myself included at certain times) that believe a season will happen in abbreviated form – but will happen nonetheless.

But as a hockey fan, this lockout has affected me differently than it did back in 2004-05.

Firstly, Winnipeg didn't have NHL hockey.  It was only a pipe-dream kept alive by the likes of Darren Ford at jetsowner.com and the regular rumblings that any team under financial duress was heading to the MTS Centre ASAP.

It was easier to go through the lockout because it didn't affect us – we still had the AHL and our beloved Manitoba Moose – who kept us busy and also made it to the Western Conference Finals.

We still had professional hockey in Winnipeg in 2004-05, this year we don't.

We still have our rinks in our backyards, but it seems that we aren't as lucky this time around – but still to be glad we have our NHL back.

Secondly, I wasn't a season ticket holder.

It isn't the peachiest of situations to be held out as a fan who witnessed the return of the Jets to Manitoba and then have the cord pulled from the socket the year after with little excuses to why it should happen.

It's not bitterness talking – it's a passion for the game that I want to be able to see live.  

And believe me the MTS Centre is the best building I've ever been in to watch any sport ever.

But thirdly, this lockout has really made no sense from either side.

Last time around, the fans came to a realization that our game was suffering and was sick and needed major surgery.

Out of those negotiations and a season lost came what we have now – a viable economic system that has worked thus far and has brought the NHL billions of dollars in revenue.

However, far be it from the NHL and NHLPA to fess up to being both stubborn, egg-headed, and extremely greedy.

Be it far from a season ticket holder to speak up about what happens with the money that is earned by the teams, paid to players from the fans that come to watch and support the teams and players.

I've heard it before and I still hear it – the fans are suffering the most.

Truth is, both sides can pay cheap lip service about how the fans are suffering and then turn around and argue and "negotiate" that their demands be met for more money.

Our game is broke again and the only way to fix it is for some humility, honesty, and common sense to reign supreme.