It’s a weird winter for me because of the NHL lockout, which, by the way, has been going on for 100+ days now.
I am so used to watching the Blackhawks games over at friends’ houses this time of year, I feel a little lost and grumpy without it.
The NHL posted the typical “Happy Holidays” photo on their Facebook page Sunday. The picture itself was nothing special, but unlike most of these standard posts the comments were not positive.
In fact, they were so overwhelmingly negative it was funny.
Obviously I am not the only one feeling angry about the lockout this Holiday season.
The Initial Post and Background Information
I am sure the NHL had good intentions when posting this picture, but how could their PR department honestly think this would bode well with fans?
I know it’s tradition for companies to post a Holiday post when the season comes, but when it comes to the NHL fans don’t want to hear anything from them unless it’s an announcement the season is beginning.
Last week the NHL cancelled games up to January 14th, which made the NHLPA move into a legal action of dissolving the union and potentially filing a lawsuit against the NHL, copying the tactics used by the NBA’s union just last year.
The moves added both frustration and hope.
As of now, there would still be a chance to play a 48-game season, the mark Gary Bettman has previously stated would be the lowest amount of games he’d be willing to see played. But if a deal or court order isn’t met sometime around Jan 14th, a likely cancellation of the season will happen.
The next few weeks are an all-or-nothing type scenario everyone thought the NHL wouldn’t be stupid enough to let happen.
As expected, when this holiday post was up on Facebook, fans saw it as another punch to the gut. Most of the 5,000+ comments were fans expressing their anger with the league’s seemingly selfishness and disinterest in pleasing their fans.
What We’ve Learned
The NHL fan base is extremely sensitive to any moves of the NHL and NHLPA.
The relationship between fans and the NHL is like one of a couple where one of person’s found out the other has cheated on them. You may still like the person, but you look at them and their actions a lot differently now.
Things probably won’t be the same for a while. It’s sad, but it’s the truth.