Although I fangirl and spend a lot of time joking about hot players I am actually a really big fan of the game of hockey and the threat of lockout has me beyond bummed. Let's take a look at some facts about Saucer:
1. This season I was set to attend 3 games in Denver, 1 in Phoenix, 1 in Vancouver, 1 in Philadelphia, and Frozen Fury in Las Vegas in addition to 20+ games in Dallas.
2. I buy at least 3 jerseys per year plus calendars, posters, tshirts, etc.
3. At the games I buy beer, food, and park valet (don’t judge on the valet, it is soooo much easier).
4. When I moved to Texas I specifically chose a cable provider which offered NHL Center Ice so I wouldn’t miss any Avs/Flyers games.
5. I tell anybody who will listen how awesome the NHL is and basically market the teams for free by blogging about players, tweeting about hockey on my personal twitter, wearing gear, sporting stickers on my car, etc.
Ok, so where am I going with all this? Well, I’m actually old enough to remember the last lockout and know I am lucky to live in a market with other hockey options. I would be more than happy to support my Texas Brahmas or Allen Americans this season. But guess what? If I leave I’m not coming back and that isn’t an empty threat. Anybody who has ever been in a fight with me knows I can hold a grudge for a really long time. Will I still swoon over Danny Briere...absolutely. Will Semyon Varlamov still be my favorite goalie in the league...you betcha! I’m not saying I won’t support my Avalanche and Flyers, because I will, but Stars season tickets…yeah, not so much. Buying multiple jerseys every year…not gonna happen. Watching games in 5 states and two countries over the course of one season…most definitely not. I'll still follow the NHL but the bulk of my money will stay with my local CHL teams.
So what, right? The NHL isn’t worried about losing Saucer, one random girl in Dallas. Well, maybe they should be. There are a lot of people like me who spend a ridiculous amount of money on tickets, travel, and merchandise related to hockey every season. If enough of us decide we’re over it we just might make a difference.
I’m not going to pretend I know all the details of the CBA or the negotiations but I know that if the NHL and players really cared about the fans as much as they say they do we wouldn’t have to worry about this. It’s not like they didn’t know it was coming, they’ve had plenty of time to hash this all out. So buck up guys, make some concessions and you’ll keep your fans.