Fans & Players Are LOST In A NHL LOCKOUT

Safe to say hockey fans are all ready to stop hearing about the lockout and would just like to be updated when we can all watch our favorite sport again. While we think we know what’s happening on either side, the only people that actually know are the players and owners. NHL players are starting to share the details about what a lockout is like from their perspective and while it doesn’t change things for us, maybe we can find comfort in their shared frustration.

NHL lockout Some locked out players, including nine Bruins, have decided to spend their lockout playing overseas. Joffrey Lupul and Krys Barch are a couple of NHL players using some of their free time to take to their computers to share their lockout thoughts with fans . Barch, who became a New Jersey Devil this offseason, took to his Twitter September 29th, admittedly with the help of a little bit of alcohol, to share his emotions with the fans. He’s not the first NHL player to share his lockout frustrations through tweets, but Barch’s stream of 20 in a row was a bit different.

Barch painted a picture of the owners choosing to have southern teams in struggling markets and using that struggle to continuously ask players for more money. He calls for the financially well off teams to start working with the smaller market teams or for those teams to be moved up North where they have a better shot at making  a profit. He calls the lockout “a procedure to take from the players to pay for the NHL mistake”. He seems to think they taking more money from the players isn’t a solution and will only continue to lead to lockouts. Is he right? Maybe.

While Barch’s rant was a little more casual, Lupul recently wrote a blog for He shared what he found to be the most frustrating thing “.. for us as players this is the third time (second of my career) the players have been locked out by Gary Bettman and the owners. When I look at that, the first thing I think is that it shows a lack of respect for the fans.” So what does Lupul think the fans should do?  “I think we can all agree that over 1,300 games lost to labor disputes is absurd. So why not make the voice of the fans heard? You’d be surprised who will listen.”

That’s a clear call to action from one of the players, the side most fans are siding with, but where can we make our voices heard? I’ll let you know when I find out, until then I’ll mark this as the first time I’ve read anything a Toronto Maple Leaf has ever written.

The fans have been talking; the players have been talking, but what about the owners?

I think we’d all like to hear why they aren’t willing to give up more money.  Even those who don’t agree with what the players are saying and suggesting have to at least respect them for explaining themselves to us. If nothing else, let the players sharing their thoughts encourage us to keep the lockout conversation going and maybe even try to figure out what we can do as fans to move things along. After all, if we’re the ones paying both sides shouldn’t we get a say?

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