Well, this strike is similar to how the 1994-1995 Strike went down. I can remember it like it was yesterday. The New York Rangers were coming off a Stanley Cup Championship Title in 1994, as Mark Messier carried the Rangers to their first title in over 40 years. Then it happened, a long term work stoppage. This seasons strike actually mirrors that one in that it lasted over a half season. When the league finally came to an agreement with the players, they settled on a 48 game season. This season will be the same type of schedule. Well the 94 strike saw Eric Lindros get voted as the MVP in a 48 game season where the Philadelphia Flyers made it to the Conference Finals against the New Jersey Devils. Unfortunately, the Devils went on to beat the Flyers and win their first Stanley Cup. Well, who knows at this point what team will be the favorite. However, One thing is for sure. The fans will return, but I would suggest that they refrain from spending top rate to go to these games. Let us face it, the League owes the Fans. This has been one of the most frustrating sports strikes in history as there was not a huge gap between what the league wanted as far as the players. Nonetheless, here we are already into January, and now there will be a two week period and then a 48 game season. We will talk later how this short season could benefit a team like the Flyers. Stay Tuned.
Well, here we are October 13th…Millions of dollars later. There is still no end in sight to the NHL lLabor Dispute. Both sides are so far apart, both are being greedy, but the owners are the ones who are killing this sport now. As recent evidence shows…The NHL was on the verge of overtaking the NBA as far as television ratings. As many other Hockey Fans…I still remain optimistic that this league will get it’s head out of it’s ass and settle this dispute as soon as possible. I never knew that you could miss Steve Coats voice so much…lol. Jim Jackson is also deeply missed. By this time we would usually be settling into the regular season in the NHL…observing how our free agents are playing…how far the youngsters have progressed…will the goalie play more consistent from the start…etc. These questions remain far from answered as this strike continues. I mean the NFL is in full gear…but I am missing those 7:30 puck drops…the crisp skating…the sound of those blades going across the ice…those monster hits against the boards…those acrobatic saves…those unbelievable passes….those rocket shots….those deadly wrist shots…those five hole mistakes…those penalties…those power plays…those two line passes…those off sides…those gloves coming off…those fists pummeling skin…those irate coaches…those angry fans…those whistles for stoppage of play…the zamboni in between periods…the five minute overtimes that never seem to end…those shootouts that end quickly…the ones that never seem to end…the loud music as the player hit the ice…the flashing lights and opening frenzy…the National Anthem…God Bless America…Kate Smith…The cuts…the bruises…the stitches…the bone crunching collisions…the buzzer after each goal…the replays that are shown from every angle…the guy in the second level dancing like a wild animal…the young kid donning his teams jersey proud…the father and son bonding…the boyfriend/girlfriend locking lips…kiss cam…THE PECO POWER PLAY…the white and black referees…the chants of assssshoooole….the cold beer…the stadium smell of food galore…the locker room as the players lace up their skates for battle…the open ice turnovers….the breakaways…the penalty shots…the roar of the home crowd after a goal…the oohs and aahhs after the near miss…the puck meets post…the post game interviews…the exciting rivalries…the crowd full of jerseys…the penalty box…the players chirping at each other across the benches…the stare downs…the sound of ice. Hockey is more than a game…and this really sucks. Hopefully the owners and players will realize what this does to fans like you and I….ripping our hearts out at the seam. No Hockey Left=No Fun Left. NHL meets NFL. I mean Football will always be exciting but it only comes along 1x per week. We need our daily fix. End this hypocrisy!