AvalancheOpening Not.

This was supposed to be the night I’d been waiting for since April 8th, after watching last years Avalanche club go out with a whimper 6 months ago. There was a feeling that things were going to be different. Despite the horrorof things, it felt like this year was going to be the start of a climb back to being a club that the division wasn’t going to simply look at as 2 more points. New captain, with the wily veteran Hejduk (and believe me when I say that felt weird to write) stepping back to take an A for his sweater. Things were looking up from a mile high.

And then the lockout. It’s like the ownership group doesn’t want people to invest emotionally or financially in their franchises, because every time people start coming back, they have a snit and start keeping their shiny ball away from us. The owners and their representatives start making noises about how they feel so terrible that this has to happen, but the game’ll be better in the end. The world will be better, hockey will be back, and magic unicorns will fart rainbows across the sky. 

It doesn’t have to happen. Look around. Baseball didn’t have a work stoppage. They got a deal done, and not even a whisper of it in the press. Just a note that there was a new deal for 5 years. NFL had a stoppage, but they got their act together and got a deal done in time for a full season. The NBA had a harder time of it, but they got their deal and a half-season.

It’s becoming a ritual for the NHL. Bargaining agreement ends, and the schedule gets interrupted. This doesn’t have to keep happening, but realistically, there’s no substitute for the NHL. I like hockey in general, but there’s a certain cachet about the NHL that makes it just a little bit better. Maybe it’s the cup. For now, I’ll content myself with writing and sipping the diet soda that is the Denver Cutthroats and the KHL. And when the NHL comes back, I’ll be watching. But there’s going to have to be something really good from the NHL for them to earn my forgiveness. And more importantly to the NHL, my money.

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