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Both Sides Should Worry About Losing The Loyal Fans

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

Many with a moderate to indifferent commitment have found other distractions to keep them busy – baseball playoffs, crunch time in the CFL, the NFL turning for home. They won’t feel their first withdrawal symptoms until Christmas at the earliest, and maybe not even then, but either way, they will almost certainly return once the NHL and the players’ association hammer out a new agreement.

They miss the game a little, and might miss it a little bit more if the NHL season is put fully on ice, but they’re not getting too worked up about who is public enemy No. 1 (NHL commissioner Gary Bettman or NHL Players’ Association executive director Donald Fehr). They are the ones who post on websites, “wake me up when it’s over” – if they bother to post at all.

That is a far different element of the constituency than the fans who are taking the lockout personally. This important and hard-core demographic is the one at risk the longer the dispute drags on.

Unlike casual fans, the early stages of the season matter to them. They are loyal to their teams and to their stars. They want to see loyalty in return.

They wanted to draft their fantasy hockey teams in October. They are bothered because, by now, they should know how the promise of off-season change has been fulfilled by the teams they support.


Filed in: NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink


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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com