To watch or not to watch – an NHL fan’s dilemma

Column on the recently ended NHL lockout by Castlegar News sports reporter Craig Lindsay

The NHL is back after an extended lockout.

It looks like they have a deal. After 113 days of a lockout the NHL Players Association (NHLPA) and the NHL owners have tentatively agreed to a resolution that would see the league return for a shortened season starting on Jan. 19.

For a while there it certainly looked like there would be no hockey this year, but at the last second NHL president Gary Bettman and NHLPA union chief Donald Fehr, and their various cronies, put together a deal to save the season.

Hockey, and the NHL in particular, is more than sport here in Canada, it’s life. Young Canadians grow up with a stick in their hand and are as comfortable on skates as in shoes. Hitting, fighting, passing, deking, great plays and great saves are what hockey is all about.

Of course, the NHL these days appears to be more about dollars and more dollars as greedy millionaire players and greedier billionaire owners squabble over a bigger piece of the pie. Do they not realize that the pie they are fighting over is the hard-earned money from fans who have full-time jobs so they can support their families?

It’s easy to look back at the ‘good old days’ and wonder about the time when a hockey game at the ol’ Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver cost $10 and that included parking and a hot dog and a pop. I remember taking a date to watch Wayne Gretzky and the Edmonton Oilers play the Canucks and the whole night cost less than $25 for the two of us.

Okay, I get it – inflation, yeah, everything goes up. But it’s pretty crazy to be complaining about your income when you are charging families $60 a ticket and that’s for the cheap seats. That doesn’t include parking, which is usually another $10 and food and drinks on top of that.


So what is a beleaguered (or de-leaguered) hockey fan to do? Some are talking a full-on boycott of all things NHL. Others say, ‘let’s boycott opening night.’ Others are more forgiving and are willing to maybe watch the games, but only if they come up on the TV.


In truth, I figure most fans will come back eventually albeit hesitantly. Most sooner than later even. In a few years people will have pretty much forgotten all about the season that was almost lost. At least until the next lock-out or strike action.




Just Posted

Free shuttle running at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital

Parking and main access have been ongoing challenges since KBRH construction began in October

Rossland couple face charges after faking sex to commit petty theft

Couple fakes the dirty to clean out a laundry

Snowfall warning issued for Kootenay passes

Up to 35 cm of snow expected Monday night and Tuesday.

Castlegar wildlife conflicts down in 2018, though problems persist

Official Bear Smart Community status still elusive for city

How long can Castlegar support a repertory cinema?

Cinema owners find audiences with older, obscure movies

VIDEO: Ex-NASA engineer pranks mail thieves with glitter bomb trap

Package thefts are common this time of year, but YouTuber Mark Rober used his engineering skills

FortisBC says you can return to normal gas use following pipeline fire

Utility says increased pipeline capacity, warmer weather have allowed supply to reach normal levels

CSIS collected info on peaceful groups, but only in pursuit of threats: watchdog

Security Intelligence Review Committee says fears unjustified after reviewing evidence, testimony

Canada ranks 16th on annual gender gap list

This is the second year Canada has placed 16th in the World Economic Forum’s list

VIDEO: Tornado rips through city west of Seattle

Reports indicate five to seven homes damaged in Port Orchard, Wash.

Trial date postponed for man charged with killing Abbotsford police officer

Oscar Arfmann’s trial pushed back from January to May 2019

Privacy watchdog says legal cannabis buyers should use cash, not credit

Some countries could bar entry to individuals if they know they have purchased cannabis

‘A start:’ Alberta critical of Ottawa’s $1.6B package for ailing energy sector

A further $150 million is to be used for clean growth and infrastructure projects

New B.C. Lions coach DeVone Claybrooks adds eight to coaching staff

DeVone Claybrooks has filled out his staff for the 2019 season

Most Read