Nov 1, 2012, 11:02 AM EDT
Back in August, before the current NHL lockout had officially begun, commissioner Gary Bettman famously (or maybe it was infamously) said that the league recovered from the loss of the 2004-05 season because it has the “world’s greatest fans.”
But if the 2012-13 season is canceled, will the fans return in droves again? Here are three big reasons they might not:
Fool me twice, shame on me. One lost season was bad enough. Add another less than a decade later and fans can’t be expected to be so forgiving. On top of that, this lockout is different. In 2004, most fans believed the NHL’s claim that the business model was unsustainable and that a hard salary cap was required to ensure the league’s stability for years to come. Now they see an NHL, having got what it wanted eight years ago, coming back for more.
It’s the economy, stupid. In 2005, things were a lot better than they are today. Whether the global economy is still technically in recession or not, the situation remains undeniably tenuous. There’s a reason the U.S. presidential election is largely about creating jobs and managing the debt. A lost NHL season would give individuals and corporations a great excuse to cut expenses by walking away from their season-ticket commitments and/or sponsorships.
What do they do for an encore? The NHL emerged from the last lockout having approved a series of rule changes that sped up the game and increased its entertainment value. It wasn’t quite the Mark McGwire-Sammy Sosa homerun record chase that helped baseball recover from the cancelation of the 1994 World Series (thanks, steroids!), but it still helped hockey fans put the lost season behind them.
On the bright side, there’s still time to save the season. Get back to playing hockey soon and the damage should be manageable.
Apr 25, 2014, 2:19 AM EDT
Apr 25, 2014, 1:55 AM EDT
Yet this game was close on the score board.
Apr 25, 2014, 1:32 AM EDT
San Jose can’t complete the sweep.
Apr 25, 2014, 12:48 AM EDT
They’ll rest him for Game 5 – unless San Jose comes back.
Apr 25, 2014, 12:16 AM EDT
All Minny in this one, as we said earlier.
Apr 25, 2014, 12:05 AM EDT
Insert “Did he miss Iginla’s head?” jokes.
Apr 24, 2014, 11:45 PM EDT
Timing of the goal couldn’t have been better for San Jose.
Apr 24, 2014, 11:19 PM EDT
Boston wins it on an odd goal.
Apr 24, 2014, 11:19 PM EDT
All Minny through two – except on the score board.
Apr 24, 2014, 10:51 PM EDT
His haters rejoice on Thursday (at least so far).
Apr 24, 2014, 10:36 PM EDT
Out of his control, however.
Apr 24, 2014, 10:28 PM EDT
L.A. looking to stave off elimination.
Apr 24, 2014, 10:01 PM EDT
“No hard feelings.”
Apr 24, 2014, 9:18 PM EDT
More playoff hockey.
Apr 24, 2014, 8:05 PM EDT
It’s due to flu-like symptoms for Detroit’s normal starter.
Apr 24, 2014, 7:44 PM EDT
This post will be updated if there’s a late swerve.
Apr 24, 2014, 7:31 PM EDT
Whether Henrik Zetterberg can go or not.
Apr 24, 2014, 6:25 PM EDT
He’s glad the former got some playoff reps, though.
Apr 24, 2014, 5:13 PM EDT
He sure looked yippy last night night in Columbus.
Apr 24, 2014, 4:57 PM EDT
He led Frozen Four champion Union College in scoring this year.
- Kings stave off elimination, force Game 5 against Sharks 16
- Wild hold off late Avalanche push to even series at 2-2 52
- Bruins scratch out OT win, push Red Wings to brink 42
- WATCH LIVE: San Jose Sharks at L.A. Kings 0
- WATCH LIVE: Colorado Avalanche at Minnesota Wild (Game 4) 5
- Monster of a surprise: Red Wings start Gustavsson over Howard 5
- WATCH LIVE: Boston Bruins at Detroit Red Wings (Game 4) 2
- Bylsma rips Penguins, calls effort level ‘troubling’ 64
- Cooke: I didn’t intend to collide knee-on-knee with Barrie 99
- On ‘score effects,’ and the challenges of playing with the lead 11
- Video: Seabrook ejected for charging Backes; will face hearing (update) (153)
- Bad luck strikes twice: Lightning goal waved off, Stamkos takes knee to head (137)
- Keith doesn’t remember if he taunted Backes after Seabrook hit (125)
- Video: Lucic spears DeKeyser from behind (118)
- Wild’s Cooke offered in-person hearing for knee-on-knee collision with Barrie (111)