The lockout is over.
Labor peace has washed over the contentious relationship between the NHL and its' players. But as many others already this morning have mentioned, there are no winners in this protracted, farcical scenario. Only losers.
The NHL Owners have lost the trust of the players, the very employees that they make their obscene amounts of money off of, possibly forever. The turning of the owner-player relationship at the highest levels of the sport, into an adversarial exercise in 'He said, He said', dragged the dispute into rarely-seen levels of discourse.
The NHLPA have also lost the trust of the owners, to help build and expand the reach of the game thru their own efforts, and the fact that the game was taken away from North America's hockey fanbase with very little apology or rancor has little, if any, effect on any player or players' agent.
And the fans? Those who pay the freight for both sides to enjoy the record revenues of the last five seasons?
BOTH SIDES ignored the fans. BOTH SIDES ignored the facts. BOTH SIDES ignored reason, and all sort of common sense.
And the fans are the ones coming out the worst in all this. Yes, we hockey lovers are a very gullible lot; we will return whenever they throw open the gates. But we are, indeed, jaded about the sport we love as we wait for the revised, 50-game schedule to be released (sometime today or, more likely, tomorrow). "Oh, this will be the BEST hockey."
Yeah, right. Now show me that you care. Show me that you want me back. Show me that you, Craig Leipold, Wild CEO, want me to keep spending my entertainment dollar at your establishment.
Or, just let me get my money back after the season ends, and let's go our separate ways.
Time to put up, or shut up, Minnesota Wild.