*This lockout has become a ridculous side show. On a day when the Vikings win (I'm forced to watch them now, as you heard in last week's TDI episode) and it's a surprise 60 degrees outside, I couldn't care less about the NHL. This is not to say that I wouldn't watch it if it was a normal regular season night (read: they hadn't embarked on this lockout) but just that I'm hardly dependent on the NHL, even this season, it turns out.
*I'm not making one of those silly threats never to come back to the game whenever it returns. I think both sides are ridiculous, but I realize that, as a fan, I have no power to bring them back to the table on my own or collectively with other fans. The league and the players don't care about the fans. Yes we pay their salaries, blah, blah, blah, but they know as well as we do that we're coming back. While some people may very well give up their season tickets, my guess is others will buy those seats and the league will not see a meaningful drop off in revenue as a result of the lockout - at least ultimately and maybe even in the short term after it is actually concluded.
*I still think that IF the fans would get together and punish the league for putting us through this, it could be a meaningful thing. I'm talking about empty buildings, no merchandise sales, etc. Do that for a month or a season when they deign to return and yes, it would open some eyes. But, until that happens, we as a group have given them zero reason to respect us. It's a classic symbiotic relationship: we give them our money, they take our money.
*FWIW, my favorite hockey writers are: Bob McKenzie, Elliotte Friedman and Michael Russo. If at least one of them doesn't say it, I don't believe it. And, more importanly, I don't get excited or hopeful if one of them doesn't report it.
*My beer league team is off to a .500 start through 9 games, with the 10th game tonight.
*Speaking of which, I've got a new hockey-related endeavor: Puck You PanCan. I'm pledging money to donate to pancreatic cancer research based on how my beer league team performs this year. Check it out at puckyoupancan.blogspot.com.
*Open note to the NHL and NHLPA: you know that new hockey bag, new sticks and new helmet I'm sporting this season? Yeah, that's the money I would have otherwise spent consuming the NHL product.
*Speaking of beer league part two: as I discussed on Twitter last week, in our game last week some guy decided the more expedient way to defend me was to punch me in the back of the head and knock me out. Swear to God. We were winning (5-2) and there were 6 minutes left in the 3rd. I'm skating on our 3rd (read: checking) line- and no threat to do anything but trip over my own skates. I'm getting into the slot to try to screen the goalie and this son of a bitch punches me in the back of the head. My teammates said I went down like a sack of spuds, face first (that new helmet I mentioned has a full cage). I know the guy got a penalty off the play, but seriously...come on. By the way, we play that team again in 5 weeks.
*Blog posts that are entirely copy/paste exerpts of other people's work are tedious and a waste of time.
*I just counted and there are nine thoughts above, seems crass to not finish with ten, so here goes: an interesting observation is that my interest in other hockey (NCAA, AHL) seems to have ebbed with my interest in the NHL. I have no interest in watching the NHL Network, no interest in the NHL game I have for my XBox, can't even bring myself to wear my Wild hat. I've watched a couple Gopher games, but didn't miss them this weekend when they weren't on TV. I'm not going to pay to stream Aeros games. I don't know how much of that is guilt by association, and how much of it is just sympathy lethargy. But, regardless, if it's that out of sight out of mind for a hard core fan like me, it must be out of sight out of universe for a casual fan.