NHL hockey is back and hopefully for good. The National Hockey League and its Players Association union reached a tentative agreement on the framework for a new collective bargainingagreement.
The leagues third lockout in two decades, all under commissioner Gary Bettman, is expected to end later this week upon ratification
by the Board of Governors and the players. The abbreviated2013 season will start onJan. 19 and will most likely consist of 48 games per team.
But a total of 510 games were forfeited due to this work stoppage.
The lockout left a sour taste in the mouth of fans and may last for a while. At times, fans were regarded as pawns and assumed they would return whenever the owners and players eventuallymake an agreement asbillionaires fought withmillionaires over money. It was a needless debacle that could have been resolved months before the season would have started.
The sad part is that despite all the pleas to the media, the owners and players will do just fine in the near future.
The league will still get good sponsorship money and a larger cut of hockey-related revenue for the next 10 years. The owners will get a full two months of playoff action and all the ticket sales it brings. The players will receive the majority of their paychecks this year.
The people who are really hurt by this lockout are the dependents of the league.
Team employees, local bars and restaurants, and nearby hotels have all taken a hit
during the lockout. This involves people who cannot afford to lose four months worth of paychecks and need week-to-week income to pay bills and put food on the table. It has also been reported that charities and food banks have received fewer donations due to the hiatus. It is a shame that these innocent third
parties were forced to suffer while some greedy owners and players argue over billions of dollars.
Despite the anger felt by most fans, it is imperative they return to the sport and
support their team. Boycotting the game will not just punish the league, it will punish its dependents and they can use any help they can after the hardship the lockout has put them through the last four months. So head to the Forum and cheer on the Lightning, but do it for your compassion for others.
Robert Ackerman is a senior majoring in Biomedical Sciences.