Tuesday, October 2, 2012

How Social Media is Hurting the NHL and NHLPA

The lockout of 2004-2005 sucked. Fans were pissed and complained to their friends and family about the lost season. But then people moved on. Yes, we still grumbled and were angry but the lockout wasn't shoved in our faces 24-7. This lockout is different. With social media, specifically Twitter, fans know up to the minute details of the negotiations. We know who showed up for negotiating sessions and how long they stayed in the room, all in real time.

According to my Twitter time line players seem to be losing a lot of the support they had at the beginning of this whole mess. Talking trash just isn’t a good PR tactic boys! It’s bad enough that so many negative political ads are shoved down our throats but now we have to listen to the league and players bash each other as well? Fans are angry and don’t believe that either side is working very hard to come to an agreement. And when fans are angry they tweet about it. I watch my bitter followers feed off each other and am reading more tweets about not renewing season tickets and not purchasing NHL related gear.

As someone who traveled to Las Vegas last weekend for the cancelled Frozen Fury, it was frustrating. Thank goodness it isn’t in a boring city somewhere because at least Vegas managed to distract the many Kings and Avalanche fans who had already purchased airfare/hotel. It was sad to see the many disappointed Kings fans who had hoped to attend the game for the first time. So much for their Cup winning momentum.

And today the big news is that KHL games will be broadcast on ESPN3. Wait one second, I am going to be able to see Varlamov play? Hmmm, suddenly this isn’t so bad! I have local teams I can watch live and now I can watch the KHL on my computer or phone? Even better! Go ahead NHL and NHLPA, take your time. The longer it takes for you to make a decision the more time fans have to find new favorites and to move that famous hockey fan loyalty elsewhere. The league and players are counting on us, expecting us to flock back like we did after the 2004-2005 season. Well boys, with all of the alternatives which are put in front of us it is becoming less likely we’ll be back with the same intense loyalty.

So go ahead and talk trash, cut your meetings short, cancel more games. Right now I don’t care because my Stars season ticket refund is being processed and my Lokomotiv shirt is in the mail.


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