September 13, 2012; New York, NY, USA; NHL commissioner Gary Bettman speaks during a press conference at the Crowne Plaza Times Square. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-US PRESSWIRE

A Lockout Reality Check

A warning before you read, this is one of those articles that has my opinion so I know it will make some people angry. I don’t mean to offend anyone personally, however, we all have opinions and I have this platform to address mine. If you agree with me or you don’t agree with me, either way, I’d love to hear feedback. If you want a platform to voice yourself, contact me an I can make that happen. No matter what I do, I will not make everyone happy. So read it. Like it or hate it. Either way, it’s how I feel about it. I’m feeling the frustrations of the pending lockout, as I’m sure you all are!

It’s all but official. The NHL is headed to another lockout. It’s almost like the hockey gods got together and said “Tampa’s having another land mark year, let’s screw them again.” First it was the year when the Lightning had The Cup. Sure, you could look at it like they had it for two years… but in reality, it really messed up the flow of the team.

This year is another milestone year for the Bolts as it’s the 20th year of the club’s existence. So many big and wonderful things have been planned that might have to end up by the curb side. (Not just for the Lightning, but for the NHL in general. Like the Leafs VS RedWings alumni game, featuring our very own Captain Dave.) Aside the 20th year, I think the team has a real chance of being a playoff contender. With the fresh young talent mixed with the veterans that will bring a new mixture to both the locker room and the ice, they stand a great chance. It doesn’t only take talent. It takes chemistry. Just as things seem to get better for the Bolts, here goes the NHL with another lockout.

A positive note is that it might help the young guys who will be brought up from Syracuse have another year to develop before being in permanent Bolt Blue. The downside is that certain players are in their veteran years and don’t have much longer to play. Marty St. Louis, the heart and soul of the team some say, only has a few years left. He needs these last years here in the U.S. with the team that he loves, building the Stanley Cup energy to bring the beautiful trophy to Tampa once again.

A halt in the flow of a team is a bad thing. Some have said it could be beneficial for certain players an even teams, but I disagree whole heartedly. I know that it has to do with more than money, but money seems to be the main factor. The owners have been losing money, the NHL in general lost money last year. The players don’t want to lose money. …so not playing is going to generate money? Nope! The owners, the players, the league in general will lose a ton of money by having a lockout. I know I sound like a broken record, but it hurts the local businesses and people like the forum workers even more. As fans, we think we are getting the raw end of the deal. In reality it’s just the fact that our entertainment that is gone. Our outlet for everyday pressures and stresses is to sit back and enjoy the game. But it doesn’t affect our paychecks, except maybe helping us keep our money as we won’t be buying forum foods and merchandise. People who work for the forums and the teams, they are the ones who will be hurt the most. I foresee local sports pubs and restaurants that are already struggling in this tight economy closing down. I hate to predict that, but it’s going to happen. Our Channelside here in Tampa is already struggling. The restaurant across from the forum has changed hands and closed down so many times. As a matter of fact, it’s vacant right now. And that was with the hockey season going on! By this time next year, if they don’t fix this thing, it will be so much worse. Bettman can sit on his millions and apologize all he wants to. It doesn’t make me feel any better.

Dolly Dolce


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