I know I’m supposed to be mad at the NHL, but quite frankly I’m just glad that hockey’s back.
With all of the online petitions and ire directed at the NHL, the general consensus seemed to be that we had to demand some sort of retribution from the NHL and the various owners. But how can we be mad at an owner the likes of Terry Pegula?
The Pegula clan didn’t want this lockout but they did the best they could with it. They offered a 50% off sale in the Sabres store and Kim Pegula even handed out hot chocolate to fans in line. The Sabres even started a new way to win over Sabres fans at birth by giving newborns a Sabres “We Live Hockey” blanket and a “Future First-Round Pick” certificate.
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(My original source is this 3 Smartest Things in Buffalo post at Trending Buffalo by BSN’s Scott. It’s a great read!)
Some have said the Sabres haven’t done enough to “apologize” to fans for the lockout. That other teams have done way more, like Nashville offering 2 for 1 tickets or Toronto extending their 50% off sale into the season.
Whatever. Each team is their own business, or franchise and can handle it how they see fit.
The NHL is a business, as are nearly ALL entertainment outlets that we enjoy. They provide entertainment for a fee. It’s an illusion to think that the NHL exists simply to provide us joy.
We want to believe that sports is pure, that it’s all about the athletes’ heart, the love of the game, that they fight for our city or region. Which, y’know is true to a certain extent, but it is all predicated on the fact that the engine running it needs capitol to sustain itself.
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That doesn’t mean a major sports league needs to be entirely heartless, but stuff like lockouts and strikes are bound to happen.
I get that people are pissed that hockey seems to have had more than it’s fair share of work stoppages, but… ah well. I just can’t get too worked up about it. The Sabres didn’t want it to happen so I guess my feelings were to just sit back and do something else until the players got back on the ice.
And now that they’re back, it’s amazing and has made me realize exactly how much I love the sport of hockey. Maybe it’s a little “absence makes the heart grow fonder”. In any case it’s awesome, and I’ve dropped any ill will I’ve had towards the NHL. Hell, maybe a 48-game season is better anyway, but that’s a subject for another post.
Welcome back Sabres, and go get ’em!