Evening everyone and welcome to what i am going to call "The CTFB Semi-inebriated Vent About The Lockout".
First of all, my name is Luke and I am a newer Bruins fan. I have always loved hockey but never really followed the NHL until post-2004 lockout. Before that I had always watch UVM hockey (back when Timmy and Marty and Eric Perrin were running circles on people) but I saw my first Bruins game at the Fleet Center and was mesmerized. (even if it wasnt a good time in Bruins history) and, while anybody in my area of Vermont generally follows the Habs or, inexplicably the Flyers, I began to bleed Black and Gold.I began to immerse myself not only in post lockout hockey, but tried to find as much about the history of the game and the league as I could (which is why Erin's OTBH entries will always hold a special place in my heart and never stop writing them please!)
Savvy will always be my favorite Bruin and I wear 91 in my beer league in his honor. Second to him I swear I probably have the biggest man crush on Shawn Thornton people have ever seen. I'll fight anyone who doesnt think so by the way.
Which brings me to the reason I'm posting this buzzed diatribe: For the love of all things holy in this fucking world, end this God damn lockout. I understand and side with the players for the most part, but when it comes right down to it, as much as I have been filling my time with awful UVM games (and seriously, its atrocious at times) or going to Manchester to catch Monarchs/Baby B's games, it isn't Big Bad Bruins hockey. For all the talk of HRR and and CBA, the biggest 3 letter word missing in all of this is FAN. I get the league wants variance and term length restrictions and all of that but what good does all of that do when revenues from tickets are ONLY from STH who dont have a choice but to pay and your sponsors are slowly getting ready to back out the door because you give them nothing to hang their hats on as far as real return?
Hockey is the greatest sport in the world. I say that for all levels of hockey. Nowhere do you find the most down to earth people strapping on the skates and pads and practically flying. The biggest push for equal rights for everyone (You Can Play) has been started in this sport. And Im damn proud to be a part of this all and to be a member of this community. But the NHL and the PA are causing me to seriously question why I want anything to do with this. i know when it comes back I'll be watching every game on NESN and, after the hiatus from giving the league 1 red cent of my money, i'll be back to buying 3 games a year and making the 3 1/2 hour pilgrimage from Burlington, Vermont to Boston. Until then, as much as I try to be on the Lilybraden Bandwagon of Optimism, I'm ready to tell the NHL to fuck off.
Get your shit together guys. It may be the NHL vs the NHLPA in this clusterfuck you call a negotiation, but its the fans, sponsors, arena workers, team employees and local watering holes and businesses around the arenas that suffer the most.