Kukla's Korner

Goal Line Report

CBA Talk with Lyle Richardson of Spector’s Hockey

As you can tell, all the new regarding hockey revolves around the CBA negotiations between the NHL and the NHLPA. Unfortunately, it is going to be this way until an agreement is reached so I guess we have to start getting used to it fast.

To help us with that is our very own Lyle Richardson, who occasionally blogs here at Kukla’s Korner and of course, runs his own site, Spector’s Hockey.

Lyle was kind enough to take some time out of his crazy blogging schedule to give us his thoughts on all things CBA.

PH: In your opinion, why hasn’t the CBA been renegotiated between the NHL/NHLPA if they claim to care about the fans?
LR: Neither side cares about the fans. If they truly did, a new CBA would’ve been implemented by now and we’d be looking forward to the start of training camps in three weeks. This isn’t about the fans, it’s about distribution of revenue.

PH: You recently wrote a blog on your site that NHL fans are powerless when it comes to the CBA, lockout, strike. Is there anything that could be done in a reasonable way to change this? Why or why not?
LR: The only way the fans can affect real change is by hitting the NHL in its collective wallet. Cute little Twitter protests to “unfollow” the NHL or proclaiming we won’t stand for another lockout are pointless. Same with petitions. They carry no weight. If NHL fans really want to get the attention of the owners and fans, cancel or refuse to renew your season tickets. Refuse to purchase any season tickets which become available. Cancel your subscriptions to NHL Center Ice and The NHL Network. Return your NHL merchandise and refuse to buy any more. If hundreds of thousands of NHL fans did these things, the league would certainly notice.

PH: Why do you think fans threaten to not follow the league anymore if there is a strike/lockout and yet, come right back when it is all settled?
LR: They’ll return because they love the game. Sure, a small minority will hold true to their word and not return, but most will. Any fans the league lose, they’ll easily replace with new, younger fans. That’s what happened last time, and will certainly happen again.

PH: Lastly, when do you see the 2012-13 season starting? Why?
LR: I’m still hopeful the two sides can get a deal done by September 15th, but if not, a lockout could last until early December. I realize this sounds like I’m hedging, but there you are. Hoping for the best, expecting the worst, but the worst at least won’t be a season killer like the last time.

PH: Anything else you’d like to share with Kukla’s Korner readers?
LR: You’re not “suckers” for your love of the NHL, and for returning to it after another potential lockout. That being said, you are being taken for granted.  Ultimately, you’ll have to decide if following the NHL is still worth your time and money. Oh, and beware any claims from the league proclaiming a new CBA will make attending NHL games more affordable. It won’t.

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About Goal Line Report

Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.

Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.

For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at patrickhoffman3530@gmail.com.