The following article is an editorial reflecting solely the opinions of the author and is not endorsed by neither FanSided or Bolts by the Bay.
Food for thought: even an option on behalf of the NHL and franchise leaders that there can be a 2012-2013 lockout shows exactly how much they value the fans of all NHL teams. It is my opinion that the unwillingness to genuinely negotiate by Gary Bettman and other NHL suits involved is a reflection of what they think of the fans, that the fans are expendable.
As most of us have noticed there is the stifling stench of a very possible NHL lockout hang in the air over the Tampa Bay. Ominous clouds, restless wind, pebble like rain, and not the kind of thunder TB Lightning fans adore are a constant reminder of the rapidly approaching hockey season that may or may not happen.
As an NHL blogger, this is most likely one of the most terrifying prospects as writing about an ice sport in the midst of the summer Olympics just seems wrong enough, but to come up with angles centered on our beloved bolts for another year with no physical play is a future that gives me nightmares. Each of us Bolts by the Bay bloggers are avid Lightning fans in our own ways that can uniquely contribute to this blog, but from a fans point of view I have to say I’m highly offended by our dearest NHL. Sure, there have been threats of NHL lockouts before, lockouts in any sport really, but the stubborn, greediness by NHL leaders is absolutely appalling. It’s one thing to believe that the players need to battle off the ice for better deals, after all guys like Steven Stamkos are more fighting for the blokes who won’t be NHL superstars that really need the benefits, however those in control of the impending lockout don’t seem to remember that in reality it’s the fans that pay their salaries too.
The option of a lockout says to me that the fans are not important to the NHL, that while the players won’t be making a salary this year this also means the fans will not be able to wreak the pleasure they expect from a hockey season. The teams that the fans support every day of the year, even in the off season, will refuse to perform or reach a settlement. If only the NHL would remember who pays their salaries, Bettman would give the players what they want since it’s on the fans bill anyway. I think the majority of us would prefer to see quiet Tom Pyatt taken care of at the end of the day vs. Bettman’s overflowing pockets.