There is a hockey God

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The NHL is back baby

What the Puck?
Autumn McDowell

Sports Editor

Just when I thought the NHL couldn’t get any dumber, they go and do something like this, and totally redeem themselves.

With the lockout still in full swing during the Christmas break, and team Canada ending their 14-year medal streak at the World Juniors on Jan. 5, I had attempted to eat away my sorrows before bed in an effort to forget about all the pain the hockey gods have caused me this year. 

However, during the mid-stages of my food coma, I awoke to the sound of an annoying phone vibration at 5 a.m. on Sunday morning. While I normally would have ignored the sound, my comatose state propelled myself to check who or what had rudely woken me up at a time like this.

However, upon looking at the screen I received some surprising news: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman had actually done something good for a change.

113 long, sometimes hellish days into the lockout, a TSN alert stated that a tentative agreement had been reached between the NHL and NHLPA.

Once the choir finished singing hallelujah, and I had relished with a few celebratory fist pumps in the air, I attempted to fall back asleep, but with my increased excitement this proved to be exceedingly difficult.

After waking up at a reasonable time a few hours later, and confirming that I had not dreamed the whole episode, details of the new agreement between the two organizations were released.

Although there were many elements to the lockout negotiations, including a revenue split, to which the millionaire players took a seven perfect decrease – oddly enough I have trouble feeling bad for them – the element that concerns fans the most is the length of the season.

As of press time, the NHL is planning for a 50-game season to begin shortly, meaning it’s time to blow the dust off of your favourite team’s jersey and wear it with pride once again.

Just days ago, with the end of the lockout seemingly nowhere in sight, many fans began to make outrageous claims that they would boycott the season if one was to in fact happen. With expectations of a season at an all-time low, these lofty claims seemed like safe bets that would never be put to the test. But, that’s not the case anymore, suckers.

No matter how angry any fan was during the rollercoaster lockout ride, it is my lofty claim that not one of the stubborn fans will be able to go an entire 50-game season without watching hockey.

One fan boycotting the season won’t change anything now. A hunger strike would be one thing, but trying to refrain from watching your favourite team during a season where most of the games will actually matter seems like a cruel form of self-torture.

If all these crazy fans are trying to do is to prove a point about how the NHL did not consider the fans during the lockout, then be my guest. But, if you’ll excuse me, I have a new jersey to buy and a game to watch.

Photo courtesy of Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press

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