Usually there'd be some sotory or other about "ongoing negotiations" during such a strike. There was in 1995.
In the New York papers-NOTHING. They may have laid off all the hokcey writers in NY but Larry Brooks, and he's once a week.
Americans don't miss it. They'll focus on the NFL, college football and basketball and the NBA, and pay more attention to MLB spring training.
Look, I had Ranger season tickets from high school on for a long time. But now, who cares? Too many teams, too much boring trap, too much money for tickets. And if people like me think that, casual fans have even less reason to care.
Both sides have cut their throats. And as great a game as hockey is, no one cares.
I have been a Rangers fan since 1968 or so. I missed hockey a lot at the last lockout. Now?
I find that I really do not even realize that it's noit here. I notice that when there are no football or knicks games, like 1 or 2 times mid-week, that I have no sports games to watch/listen to. But I find that I have something else to do.
Hockey? They will find the fan base severly eroded when and if they ever return.
Honestly, I haven't missed hockey since April of 1997--when my Whalers bolted Connecticut.
However, I would prefer the sport be around and be healthy. Even though I'm a fraction of the NHL fan I was prior to 1997, I still enjoy following the NHL more than the NBA (I haven't watched a second college b-ball in years). With college football and the NFL still going, things are OK. But if there is no hockey soon, the only sport I'll watch until baseball starts is Arena Football--and I'm not a big fan of the AFL.
When the Whalers left in 1997, NHL ticket prices were outlandish......Now, it's almost outright stealing on the part of NHL owners :o
I think the fundamental problem is this: NHL players have always been treated as members of 1 of the 4 major leagues, even in U.S...They host sport talk shows, play in front of mostly packed arena's and see all their game highlights on ESPN (unlike soccer and the arena, ect.).
With that, they somehow feel they should be paid close to what MLB and NFL players make.....
Here's the flaw: Those sports have significant TV contracts, while the NHL doesn't.
At this point, fans have been stretched too far. After the Whalers left I was devasted. But seeing how much ticket prices have gotten out of hand, I think it may have been the best thing for CT hockey fans who are no longer being raped by an NHL owner--A nice tax cut of sorts B)
I think fans from around the U.S have reached the same conclusion: Ticket prices are too high and the game is too boring, as presently played.
By the way, the NHL could come back and have a half-season (like 1995)...But 1995 really caused this strike, by them coming back with a weak deal...NHL is better served taking as long as they can, until this thing is done properly.
Personally, I still think the players may buckle and we'll have a repeat of 1995. When a Chris Chelios type Hall of Famer goes around bragging about playing for the Chicago Wolves (AHL), you know these players are getting wrestless....Matter of fact, the players should "buckle now", because at some point they will have to give in. Owners hold the keys to the games, they are just employees.
When two sides are not even negotiating it is hard to come up with a possiblity of this season being saved. I love hockey and am missing it and especially in the months of Jan, Feb and March when little else is avialable for my sports attention.
Hockey overexpansion and getting into markets that they should not have is the killer. I agree the powers to be had this vision of grandauer that it would be a major sport followed everywhere- The true hockey fans on this board know that was never the case and never will be.