Yesterday the NHL canceled the entire November schedule. The picture above is the front page of NHL.com. See that tiny sentence of text near the upper right, that’s where you can find the news about the canceled games.
It’s really shitty that NHL.com is as silent about the lockout as ESPN, ESPN.com, and (somehow) ESPN.com/NHL. I know the site is run by the NHL but they should still be upfront about lockout information instead of trying to distract us with The Mighty Ducks.
It also really bothers me that no one in the mainstream media is talking about hockey. The closest thing we got was President Obama talking about it on Leno:
“Every time these things happens, I just want to remind the owners and the players, you guys make money becuase you’ve got a whole bunch of fans out there who are working really hard, they buy tickets, they’re watching on TV. Y’all should be able to figure this out. Get this done”
This comment came just days before the NHL canceled the November schedule. To make things worse, the New York Rangers Blog thinks the Winter Classic will be canceled on Monday.
If the Winter Classic is canceled on Monday the NHL loses it’s most watched regular season game and a chance to get fans on board for the rest of the season. Canceling the Winter Classic pretty much guarantees that there will not be a season at all.
I’ve said this before, but I really believe to force a deal we need to raise the public awareness of the lockout. I watched Twitter and Facebook explode after the replacement refs blew the Packers / Seahawks game. I wasn’t even aware the NFL was using replacement refs until that night. Days later a deal was on the table and signed. I think the swiftness of the deal had something to do with the public outcry.
Right now the public isn’t really asking for the lockout to end - the media is silent. Neither ESPN, Bleacher Report, or SB Nation have NHL lockout news on the front page. The public perception of the NHL is… well… nonexistent. The owners and players don’t look bad because they’re staying out of the media while they argue over how to split up their millions of dollars.
They’re screwing over fans, they’re screwing over arena employees (stats coming soon… i’m working on it), and the NHL is not being held accountable in the public’s eye.
So take time out of your day and tweet something at @NHL. Urge them to make a deal. Or don’t. I mean NHL.com has video of Joshua Jackson at the NHL awards in 1993. You should probably just watch that instead.