Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 10/15/12 at 12:52 PM ET
from Kevin Smith at ESPN,
"I understand the owners have issues and the players have issues. But, we fans just want to watch the games. Even after the last several labor situations, the sport kind of was making its way back. The past four years have been incredibly strong. The Winter Classic has turned non-hockey fans into hockey fans. Just as they start gaining ground, there suddenly is a lockout.
"Now you'll have to dial everything back four or five years. The fan base will be mad because everyone wants their money. I know that commissioner Gary Bettman said the fans will always come back. That's true. But fans still can resent it. I feel the same way. I'll be there when they come back but they need to remember to think about the people who pay the money to come watch. That is not the attitude to take to the people.
"It's important for them to remember that the game is first and foremost. The game is bigger than everybody, the owners and the players. It's not just a sport but a national pastime in a country that has turned it into a religion. Hockey is not a mobile sport. It has roots. They tried to move it down south and you see what happened. They need to honor the game.
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