With each passing day we continue to hear more about players preparations for the lockout. Sens defenceman Sergei Gonchar is the first Senator to reveal his plans, suggesting he’ll join good friend Evgeni Malkin and sign on with a KHL team on a week to week basis until there is a resolution.
We can expect to hear more from other Sens players in the days and weeks to come.
This past weekend is traditionally looked at as the last weekend of summer. When the calendar flips to September, it’s supposed to be the most exciting time of year for hockey fans. Teams should be getting set to open camps over the next couple of weeks but instead the labour unrest continues to dominate the league’s headlines.
On a personal note, I find that each time I sit down to write a blog about our Senators, I struggle. More than any other NHL labour dispute, I really feel like this one is stickin’ it to the fans and it makes me angry. I don’t care about the owners who feel they should have a bigger chunk of league revenues. I don’t care about the players who feel as though they were slighted in the last CBA negotiations. I mean, I get it. Don’t get me wrong. I just don’t care.
I feel bad for the people that open their wallets to support this league only to be completely ignored. I feel bad for the people that rely on the National Hockey League for work. I feel bad for kids that look up to these players as role models but are too young to understand why they won’t be playing this fall.
Now I am as big a supporter of the Ottawa Senators and the National Hockey League as you’ll find. I actually cringe a little when I think about the amount of money I have spent on this team over the years. The fact that I considered cancelling my season tickets really makes me wonder how others will react to a lockout.
Any delay to the start of the NHL season will hurt the league far more than either side cares to acknowledge. I just hope they figure it out before it’s too late.