In less than one month, the current collective bargaining agreement in the NHL will expire: and so will any hopes of saving the 2012-13 National Hockey League season.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, one-half of the reason why the NHL shut down a full season in 2004-05, has already said that unless there is a new deal in place by September 16th, the players will be locked out.

If that doomsday scenario comes to pass, I believe it will mark the beginning of the end of the 2012-13 season.

I have zero confidence that Betman and union boss Donald Fehr, will see eye to eye in time for puck drop.  I see absolutely no reason to believe, as some do, that the season will certainly start by the first of January.

How can anyone be sure of that?  If the season does not start in time, it will not start at all.

While the owners and players fiddle, the fans are left to burn. But they should be used to this, by now.  They matter not one iota in the eyes of Bettman and the owners; and Fehr and the players.

On his @Commish_Gary Twitter account, this is what Bettman tweeted on April 15, 2009:

“Thank you NHL fans, you are the best in sport.”


Is this how to treat the best fans in sport? By yet again holding them hostage? By yet again letting them twist in the wind while millionaries from both sides argue about astronomical salaries and mega-$$$ while fans are asked to shell out $120 bucks for a National Hockey League ticket on a working wage?

It is absolutely digusting and sickens me to no end. But do the owners and players give a rat’s ass about the fans?


There will be another work stoppage. Count on it.  When it’s over, will we once again be greeted with the following slogan that was plastered over ice suraces throughout the league in time for the 2005-06 season?

“Thank you fans.”

Remember that?

“Thank you fans.”

I could easily replace the “Thank” in “Thank You” with another word, but I’m too much of a gentleman for that.


About ahefter

I have covered hockey extensively during my 30-year sports broadcasting career. From the Miracle on Ice at Lake Placid to the Edmonton Oiler dynasty years, I've shared my views on hockey with listeners in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. You can "catch me in action" on Youtube at the following URL: My radio stops include TSN 690 Montreal, CJAD Montreal, CKNW Vancouver, and CKEY Toronto. I also ran the Canadian Press sports desk (radio). My travels as a network reporter have taken me to four Olympics, most recently Vancouver 2010. I'm currently an Applied Assistant Professor within the School of Communication at the University of Hartford.
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