Ping!!! NHL Lockout Ends

Published by Toronto Mike on January 6, 2013 @ 10:50 in Toronto Maple Leafs

Ping!!! NHL Lockout EndsI've been so fed up with the NHL and NHLPA CBA negotiations, I've been telling everyone who will listen to just ping me when it's over. This morning, I received several pings. I guess the lockout is over and we'll have a season.

Immediately, I'm hit with two different sensations. One is anger that we had to wait 113 days and that they'd do this to us after cancelling the 2004-2005 season. They fought over a multi-billion dollar pie and we suffer. Screw 'em.

The other is delight that NHL hockey is back. I watched the entire Marlies game yesterday because I miss Leafs hockey. I've been watching for 30 years and it's a fun pastime that I can share with my family and friends. Nothing's better than sitting down on a Saturday night to watch the Leafs game with my kids. Even Monica has become a big fan instead of merely a casual follower looking for a good site to bet on march madness.

So no, there's no boycott here. I'll still watch, and if you give me a ticket, I'll even go to the ACC. And I even have silly fantasies in my head where we slip into 8th and actually win a playoff game or two. I know it's crazy, but it's what we Leaf fans hope for.

Compare the tone of this entry to my entry when the NHL and NHLPA ended the last work stoppage. I was just damn happy then. Now I'm happy but more than a little jaded.

How do you feel about the NHL returning?

Comments 48 comments

48 Responses to "Ping!!! NHL Lockout Ends"

St3ve
January 6, 2013 / 11:13

Go Leafs Go!

CC
January 6, 2013 / 11:16

Like you Mike, I'm glad NHL is back, but I'm ticked at both sides.

I'll think long and hard before giving them any of my hard earned money.

Pete McPhedran
January 6, 2013 / 11:20

Was a big fan of NHL, still a Leaf fan, but I will not give the NHL or Leafs a moment of my time or a penny of my money for at least a week. That's my boycott. After that, I will watch a Leaf game if I catch it, that's going to be harder now as I cancelled Rogers cable, but I am not concerned.

I'm not a buyer of merchandise anyway, but I used to attend 10-20 games a year. I will not attend a game this year. Mike, I'll let you know when I have available tix.

Having said that, as a Leaf fan, at least they will have a chance to make the playoffs this year. They usually come out strong and die after a few months, this year that means they will die in the playoffs. Always an optimist ;-)

--Pete

Andrew
January 6, 2013 / 11:28

It means I'll start to make real money again. With condensed schedule it's going to be a nutty run to the cup.

Toronto Mike
January 6, 2013 / 11:31

@Pete McPhedran

I respect your one week boycott. I saw in the Open Mike thread that @Matt is boycotting the whole season. That's quite the statement.

Of course, it depends on how much you like the game and league. It would be easy for me to boycott Nascar or even the PGA, and I could probably boycott the NFL, CFL and MLS for the right reasons, but I know myself and I know I'll be watching as many Leaf games on TV as I can and following them as closely as I usually do.

But, if I'm going to spend a dime on a league in 2013, it will be on Jays stuff. I won't buy a ticket to a Leafs game or any memorabilia this year. And yes Pete, if you have a ticket you won't use, pass it over. I promised my daughter she can go to the next game I have a pair of tickets to.

Toronto Mike
January 6, 2013 / 11:32

@Andrew

I'm glad you're making real money again, because you've been working very hard this past week for me, and I'm not paying you a dime.

I saw your comment in the Open Mike thread as well. I'll put in the order with Bill today and let you know when I have everything on the premises. I know you won't leave me hanging... Rosie would kill you!

CQ
January 6, 2013 / 12:12

Bell Media's response (as owners of The Maple Leafs and the CTV network):
Ehn, let's just air the U.S. simsub NFL pre-game hour rather than a freshed-up and in-house SportsCentre at 12 noon EST.
This, after prior complete absences of annual Grey Cup games from CTV, regardless of any scheduling 'conflicts' - and then only putting a cropped 100th Grey Cup video onto its TSN2 channel during the holidays. As expected.

Matt
January 6, 2013 / 12:19

I've got a bitter taste in my mouth over this. They let it happen again.

From what I've seen there isn't anything groundbreaking in this deal. They could've settled this before the season.

Will I eventually go back?
To be honest I probably will eventually go back. It'll take awhile though.

That said I'm happy for Andrew and all the other people behind the scenes.

Blind Dave
January 6, 2013 / 12:56

Right now it's indifference and apathy - they deserve neither my attention nor my money. Though as someone else stated, I don't buy merchandise either, but I doubt I'll watch in the near future. I also have a full slate of things to do till the summer, and I haven't missed it one little bit.

I would have been perfectly content if these greedy morons destroyed themselves, though I am happy for the regular guys/gals who earn an honest living from such things. At least someone important has their livelihood back.

Steve
January 6, 2013 / 13:00

Yawn.

Honestly, I couldn't care less about this if I tried. I've had it. The NHL is a clown show run by imbeciles, and I won't be supporting it this year and possibly beyond. There's more than enough perfectly good junior hockey I can watch.

But I am surprised that there's hockey at all this year. I thought from day one that it was going to result in another lost season.

There are only 3 reasons I'll watch any NHL hockey this year.
1. I find out that Bob Cole is retiring.
2. Ditto for Joe Bowen.
3. It's on while I'm at somebody's house. Even as a diehard Leaf fan, the idea of them squeaking into the playoffs doesn't excite me that much. This isn't even a real season.

Steve
January 6, 2013 / 13:03

That's a good point. I'm glad the only sympathetic figures in this whole mess have their jobs back.

Corey
January 6, 2013 / 13:35

Not watching. They can kiss my ass. A forty-something game season is not a legitimate season, and therefore this year's Cup winners will not be legitimate either. I've got better things to do with my time. It makes me sick that the ACC will be packed to the rafters - what a twisted, abusive relationship we have with this sport. Keep dumping on us - we'll line up and ask for more. All this does is give both owners and players that there is no consequences to this nonsense, and therefore, next time negotiations take place, we can expect the same. Real fans would send a clear message by refusing to attend or watch the remainder of this season, and send these swines a message they can't ignore.

Sam in Scarb
January 6, 2013 / 13:46

The best thing about the four month lockout was not having to listen to Brian Burke and his song & dance bull shirt every second day.
Starting next week the fairy tales start all over again.
What will be his first song & dance that the Toronto media will eat right up?

- that the leafs had to short of training camp (even though all teams will have exactly the same amount of time)

- that his team has no exhibition games (hint no team will have any games)

- that the Leafs have a "tough schedule" (yes,out of all the NHL teams,only the LEAFS will have it tough)

- the new head coach has not had enough time to implement his system (hint whom fired the last coach when the team was going nowhere anyways)

Ladies & gentleman,boys & girls cozy up around the warm winter fire and listen to the bedtime stories.

Blind Dave
January 6, 2013 / 13:50

I think I'll be avoiding the mainstream tv news today and tonight.

Today's news lineup: Eleven minutes of Idle Forevermore, eleven minutes of hockey, eight minutes of commercials.

Gag.

james
January 6, 2013 / 13:53

I'm happy hockey's back. I thought it was really stupid that they had this lockout but I've been waiting all year for hockey and I'M GLAD IT IS BACK!!!!

Michelle
January 6, 2013 / 14:02

I can't believe it's back. I didn't think it would come back.

joel
January 6, 2013 / 14:27

While I'm glad to have the NHL back on the ice, I have a feeling I won't be overly interested in this shortened season. For me it isn't about boycotting (which I will address later) or bitterness towards the league its the fact that there is too much going on at the moment.

Normally by this point in the season you have an idea of where your team stands, are we contenders leading the conference? are we a middle of the pack/playoff contender and what do we need at the deadline to make a push? Are we cellar dwellers is sell off mode looking for a lottery pick? With late start to the season the NHL has to get fans back while competing with the NFL playoffs, then spring training, the march madness and the baseball season. I realize that hockey normally has to compete against these for fans attention but this year is different because I'm not already emotionally invested in the league and how my team is doing. Another big factor is the Jays, I don't know what the feeling is like in Toronto but here on the east coast people are excited for baseball. The sports fans I know weren't talking about the lock out or how they miss hockey they are talking about how they can't wait for spring training to start. Had the NHL season been underway, that excitement wouldn't have been there. As usual the jays would have been second fiddle the NHL. Sportscentre would have started with the hockey highlights first set of commercials then getting the the jays and the megatrade and signings.

On the topic of boycotts, if you think that you not watching 1-2 games on tv and not buy NHL merchandise for a week somehow proves a point then by all means go for it. I have seen lots for people on my facebook page saying that they are going to boycott (for a week or month) as well. The problem is I'm on the east coast as are most of these people. Your one week boycott doesn't do much. For people here, its easy to boycott because they weren't buying tickets or going to the games anyways. As for merchandise, the league has already made it money through licensing deals. The league gets paid before the product is produced, its the bottom line of retailers that your having an effect on (possibly for one whole week). I realize that the majority of people on here are probably in the GTA but how many of you actively buy leafs tickets? From my understanding it is quite difficult to get tickets to the leafs anyways so there was probably a high possibility you weren't going to buy tickets during that week as well.

Pete you mention that you normally catch 10-20 games a year. Quick question, do you buy them or are they gifts/corporate tickets? If you aren't paying for them then go to them game. The tickets would have been purchased (not by you) but the team gets its money weather anyone is in the seats or not. I realize the food and tickets are heavily overpriced but just don't by concessions.

joel
January 6, 2013 / 14:35

@Corey

Can you clarify "Real fans would send a clear message by refusing to attend or watch the remainder of this season"?

What message? That as a company the league isn't allowed to make a profit for it's shareholders? Or that because the players make more money then the average fan they have to give up a portion of their salary because their bosses ask them to and be happy about it?

Corey
January 6, 2013 / 14:46

@Joel - I'm not complaining about either of those things. What we shouldn't allow is for the sport we love to be run by incompetent a-holes. It's an embarrassment that the morons representing both sides couldn't negotiate with each other in good faith and resolve this before having to resort to a lockout. This is simply bush-league, and as I stated, and abuse of the fans. A strike and THREE lockouts in 20 years? Give me a break. If you're happy to be used as a pawn in their ridiculous disputes, then feel free to line up and by tickets. Count me out.

NW
January 6, 2013 / 15:04

I am much more excited about the countdown to the day when the pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training in Dunedin.

Gary
January 6, 2013 / 15:16

I will probably watch the occasional game but I will NEVER buy a ticket to a game again and I will NEVER buy any NHL merchandise.

I have targeted a couple of sponsors and stopped using their products.

andre
January 6, 2013 / 15:17

@NW

Best comment to this entry.
Go Jay Go.

I love hockey but everybody already jumping back on the bandwagon after most said they would NOT support the NHL after the lockout.

BUNCH OF HYPOCRITES - TYPICAL TDOTS.

andrew
January 6, 2013 / 15:26

Above comment was mine - my "w" sticks sometimes on the keyboard.

Argie
January 6, 2013 / 15:32

I'm happy they're back only for the reason it will give the Leafs and their inept GM Burke another season without a playoff appearance.

I'm a Leaf fan but can't wait until this blowhard is gassed - which should happen considering this will be the 5th season they've been out of the playoffs under his "leadership."

This should give him all the time to attend every gay pride parade in the world.

Adios Burke!

joel
January 6, 2013 / 15:52

@ Corey

If I lived in an area where I could drive 60-90 minutes to see an NHL game I would probably try my best to take in a game or two. Where I live it is either 8 hours west to Montreal or 8 hours south to Boston. Getting to attend a pro sports event for me is an actual vacation instead of just an expensive night out. If that makes me a pawn in your eyes, that's fine. I prefer to use the word consumer.

Corey
January 6, 2013 / 16:38

@joel - and Gary Bettman salutes you. He can count on you the next time contract negotiations come up. MLB and their players seemed to learn at least - they've successfully negotiated three times now without resorting to strikes or lockouts. Know why? Because after the strike of 94 attendance went down by 20%. There hasn't been a labour dispute since. That's what I mean by true NHL fans sending a message.

Bill
January 6, 2013 / 16:50

A 1-week boycott? Wow that'll show them. How about just boycotting the entire season? Now there is a statement.

joel
January 6, 2013 / 17:45

Gary Bettman is just a figure head. He is hired by the owners to act on their behalf. He does what he is told to do, if he decided to buck that trend and not act in the interest of the owners he could be replaced with a new figure head who the public would hate claiming they are ruining hockey.

Can you please stop saying true fans or fans. Can we please call people what they are customers. If people don't want to do business with the NHL(go to games, watch on tv, buy merchandise, or even follow the results of games on tv/online/or newspaper) that's fine. But please stop making this about the "true fans". If you decide to invest your time, money or energy into other entertainment avenues I have no issues with that. But the league doesn't owe me or you or the fans anything, the league owes it to it shareholders to make money....period...that's it. If the way they've conducted business hurts their bottom line, then it will cause them to look at differently things next time around.

Corey
January 6, 2013 / 17:56

@ Joel - I'm using Bettman symbolically.

"If the way they've conducted business hurts their bottom line, then it will cause them to look at differently things next time around."

Which is exactly why I'd advocate bailing on this farce of a season.

joel
January 6, 2013 / 18:26

If you feel that giving up something you enjoy proves your point, by all means go for it. I even started off my excessively long comment earlier by stating that I probably won't overly interested in this shortened season. Even with today's announcement I'm still more interested in the NFL playoff and the upcoming Baseball season, then I am hockey at this point. Corey I realize that we have been having a bit of a back and forth on this. It isn't that I'm trying to argue with you, it's trying to understand a view point that differs from mine.

Andrew
January 6, 2013 / 19:07

@Mike: Sounds good, just let me know. I'm guessing I'll have a tentative schedule by the end of the week, but in reality, I won't be able to start working on NHL games till the beginning of February due to curling, so I'm hoping I'll have some time.

@Matt: Thanks for the kind words. I'm actually one of the lucky ones because I work on more events than just hockey. But to give you an idea of what hit I took in the fall, I would normally have between 18-22 days of work including travel days. In October I had 6 days, and I was happy for those 6 because some guys who live in markets with only hockey saw a bigger hit.

We can all bitch and moan about who won, who lost, but in reality people will come back - maybe not to live games right away, but I'm pretty sure the first national game on TSN and CBC will have excellent numbers.

As for what I'm waiting for... spring training! I'm hoping to due some games in Dunedin this year - start working on my golfing tan!!

Cheers!
Andrew

Sammy
January 6, 2013 / 20:21

Life is short.

I like hockey.

Why would I deprive myself of watching the NHL?

Most Canadians will be back...

CQ
January 6, 2013 / 22:34

I still can't beleaf Bell Media's TV response today.
Nothing fresh at a previously regular in-house sportshour at Sunday noon.
Zero news flash tickers scrolling across a main network screen this afternoon.
Only a pre-recorded(?) Sportscentre empty quickie blurb between simsubbing the CBS post-game into the Fox network's late game. (And yes, "I" criticized not having even that - about 2 years ago - at a TV journalist's blog.)
And then a top anchor promo spot stating how CTV brings us the news this evening.

Sorry. This was one of those every 5-10 year 9/11 moments: NHL hockey ended a long running lockout. And during that 9/11, the CBC network was clearly faulted for themselves sticking with their own preset weekday mid-morning programming. That CTV is part of a NHL ownership group AND still never lifted a finger to offer this news... WOW.
Someone tell me again why Bell Media possesses two separate all-news channels forced upon most (if not all) eng. lang. cable/satellite subscribers.

Corey
January 7, 2013 / 06:54

"This was one of those every 5-10 year 9/11 moments: NHL hockey ended a long running lockout"

Was this a joke?

Blind Dave
January 7, 2013 / 08:38

I'm wondering about the 9/11 comment as well. Hardly an appropriate comparison.

This was a hockey stoppage. The lockout itself got far, far, far more coverage than it deserved. Good for Bell Media for yawning through the conclusion. Maybe that's the level of coverage these greedy whiners deserve for the next year or two.

4x4 Time
January 7, 2013 / 08:43

I am only a very casual hockey fan at best, so my interest from the sport perspective is neutral, but I was interested in following the developments from a business perspective.

Considering this business generates substancial revenue for all sorts of businesses associated with the NHL,I am glad they are getting back to work.

I am really surprised though that with a business generating north of 3 Billion in revenue the league and the union could not come to an agreement for fair sharing before this. Seems to have been more of a personal fight full of mistrust than a business negotiation

Mississauga Phil
January 7, 2013 / 08:44

I agree with Corey..these guys deserve none of my money.

@ Cory - I think he ment 9/11 in terms of an emergency thing taht should have preempted whatever CBC was running......at least I sure hope he wasn't comparing a hockey lockout to Sept. 11....

Corey
January 7, 2013 / 09:09

@Phil - I'm sure you're right about CQ's comparison, but even still. This is the third lockout to happen on Bettmans watch. We've all seen this show before. I think the lack of coverage CQ'S is complaining about is a reflection of the general apathy about this from the regular fans (i.e.: non-hardcore). Personally, all I needed to see was a headline telling me it was over. I didn't spend a second more of my time looking for detail, because I just don't care. At all. After witnessing the gong show that is the NHL brass for the past two decades, this shouldn't be a big deal story to anyone.

Cheryl
January 7, 2013 / 09:15

Well, I'm glad hockey is back, but this should have been settled a long time ago. It's gone on too long and a shortened season is not as exciting. Well, maybe the Habs or coyotes will win the cup, not the Leafs.

Toronto Mike
January 7, 2013 / 09:32

9/11 was a sudden, completely unexpected, horrific attack on American soil.

Comparing that type of new event to the ending of the lock-out is a bit difficult to swallow.

1. The lock-out dragged on and on and all day Saturday we heard the deal was getting done in painful detail. The announcement was not a surprise.

2. Corey's right about the apathy. We wanted to hear there was a deal, and now we only want to hear hockey stories. Nobody wants to hear the details of the CBA and dive into the details. There's little appetite for that.

I don't think anyone was flipping stations yesterday for in depth reporting on the end of the lockout. I think we all read the headline "hockey's back" and moved on.

elvis
January 7, 2013 / 10:19

Additionally, for the record, CTV and Rogers had ridiculous coverage on this - where it should have been - on TSN and Sportsnet. It is/was mind numbing.

Toronto Mike
January 7, 2013 / 10:21

@elvis

Agreed. You can only show Bettman on an escalator so many times.

CQ
January 7, 2013 / 10:31

Over-hyped lockout ending vs. 9/11: YES.
However, CTV-One (Bell) never even broadcasted a mere text headline. They had 8 hours of top rated U.S. sports, a well-rated politics show and another well-rated primetime simsub afterward. Their own national news promo in the evening was only extra ironic on this day.
They stayed entirely upon an off-day auto-pilot. No one BOTHERED TO call in... Lance Brown into the office.
Last month two U.S. networks nearly completely and quickly pre-empted their daytime schedules in covering a local mass murder story.
This is merely a News department example of rampant apathy within Canada's national business climate.

mike
January 7, 2013 / 11:19


Anyone who pays to watch live games again descerves to be punched in the head until they get a concussion worse than Crosbys!

Mississauga Phil
January 7, 2013 / 11:30

The NHL will not get $1 of my money in this shortened season.

That being said, I will still hang out with buddies and watch the game on TV. I know some of you will say this is still supporting the NHL, but I see it as something that my friends and I really enjoy doing, and I'm not going to stop just to make a point that won't be recieved by the people I'm trying to make it to.

Hoever, 3 years ago, I got leaf jerseys made up for my son, my nephews and the sons of a few close friends. These jeseys had their names and projected draft years (so the year they turn 18) on the back. All the boys have outgrown these and I was going to do another round this Christmas, I decided not to, that's about $700 of my hard earned money that The Leafs/NHL are not getting.

Roshan
January 7, 2013 / 12:30

I don't get why this lockout couldn't have been avoided. I also don't understand why Bettmann is still in charge. I love hockey. Let's play!

Roshan
January 7, 2013 / 12:30

I don't get why this lockout couldn't have been avoided. I also don't understand why Bettmann is still in charge. I love hockey. Let's play!

Cheryl
January 9, 2013 / 16:25

Well, let's play is right. Bring back some hockey. Go Habs and Coyotes.


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