Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 12/19/12 at 09:39 PM ET
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Against the backdrop of that business paradigm, why does anyone think that in Canada, anything has fundamentally changed? People are hopping mad, but people were hopping mad back in 2004-05 and came back anyway, even after the NHL became the first major pro league to lose an entire season to a labour dispute.
In the U.S., there are half-a-dozen of successful branches, plus a few that haven’t been strong of late – the Minnesota Wild, for example – will get their own shots-in-the-arm from their big off-season signings (Ryan Suter, Zach Parise).
The real challenges will be where the real challenges would exist even if they were playing this year: Dallas, Phoenix, Colorado, Florida, Carolina, Long Island, Anaheim. Where indifference existed before, it is reasonable to think indifference will exist again, lockout or no lockout.
Crystal ball-gazing is always an inexact science, but history tells us one true thing about hockey fans. They are loyal, especially in the category of hard-core supporters that bleed their team colours.
For them, the NHL is almost an addiction. Maybe going cold turkey these past three months will cure them. Or maybe, just like last time, when the product returns to the market, they will find themselves helpless again.
But no matter what they may be saying right now, there is no way of knowing for sure how they will act until a settlement actually occurs.
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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.
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