GUARANTEED: YOU'LL BE BACK

Robin Brownlee
November 19 2012 11:42PM

Hockey fans north of the 49th parallel might say they're mad as hell and they aren't going to take it from Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr any more – that they won’t return even when NHL hockey eventually does -- but TEAM 1260 talk show host Jason Strudwick isn't buying it.

For all the noise some Canadian fans are making about turning their backs on the NHL after the third work stoppage during Bettman's tenure – "I'm done with it, I'm finished," screw those guys" – Strudwick is calling BS, and did so repeatedly tonight on his show. Fans might talk the talk, but they won't walk the walk, as in walk away.

"I guarantee it," Strudwick said, suggesting not only that most, but all, fans of the Edmonton Oilers and other Canadian teams will be back when the lockout eventually ends. "I guarantee you're coming back."

Not some. Not most. All. I found that take rather astounding, so I messaged Strudwick during his show. I asked him about his first reference to "all" fans coming back because he later said "most" fans would be back. "Which is it?" I asked. "All or most?" He replied: "Good point. I am going with all."

GOTTA HAVE IT

Back on the air after the break, Strudwick didn't only stand his ground, he didn't waste any time reiterating his point. Lots of whining now, but when the puck drops and Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins come racing through the gate, you'll all be back at Rexall Place or tuning in on the television. All talk, no action.

"All NHL fans are coming back to watch the game, in Canada," he said. "That's just simple. I have a lot of complaints from people. Walking down the street I get Tweets, I get texts all the time from people on the show saying, "I'm not coming back. I'm done with the NHL. I'll never come back.'

"I'm saying you’re wrong. I'm saying you will come back. All NHL fans will come back in Canada. The U.S. is a little different story. We can get into that another day."

I can't say I share Strudwick's optimism. I see far more fans staying away this time than was the case in 2004-05. Then again, as Bettman intimated in the early stages of this lockout, the NHL has the greatest fans, which many interpreted to mean the overwhelming majority will be back, ticket, TV and jersey money in hand.

What say you? Is your money where your mouth is or is that dough already earmarked for ticket mini-packs and souvenirs?

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#1 Sanaa Montana
November 19 2012, 11:50PM
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I know I will be first in line.

I am an Oilers fan and I can't wait for them to return.

I wouldnt give up on the Oilers just because the rest of the leagues players are a bunch of spoiled little brats.

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#2 Gerald R. Ford
November 20 2012, 12:33AM
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I think it's fairly obvious that most of us will come back when the game returns. That isn't really an insightful view (sorry, Struds), it's just the way it is. The same people making all this "noise", were the same crowd predicting the tens of thousands turning out for the "Fire MacT!" rally. Heh. It's a very, very vocal minority, and not really indicative of the average fan. What is equally true, and what should really be noted for all parties involved, is how fewer and fewer of us are missing it while it IS gone. I think that's a much greater cause for concern down the road. Not for today, but...

Anyway, I am perfectly happy to go a lot longer without my Oil fix, if it means ridding the sports world of that pompous sack of crap Donald Fehr once and for all. I hope Buttman and his sidekick Rob'em stick it so hard to that windbag that he goes limping back to whatever lawyer-filled swamp he crawled out of, and spends the remaining years of his wretched existence trying to figure out how to destroy the NBA, instead.

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#3 Dave
November 20 2012, 12:17AM
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@nullterm

So what you're saying is Vancouver is losing all their fans

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#4 sofarsogood
November 20 2012, 12:50AM
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If your on oilersnation you WILL be back.

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#5 jeanshorts
November 19 2012, 11:57PM
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For me a real telling sign was when people started out with "I'M NEVER WATCHING HOCKEY AGAIN AND I'M BOYCOTTING IT ALL FOREVER!!" then as talks started to heat up and it looked like things might actually get back on track a lot of those same people backed it down to "Okay, well, I'm going to boycott the first Saturday night game!!"

The sheer amount of vitriol and frustration voiced by people online/calling into radio/whatever, only exists because we are so crazy obsessed with hockey. If people didn't care one way or the other there would be no threatened boycotts/petitions/Twitter death threats/etc. We'd just go on with our lives like normal people with healthy, functioning brains/social lives.

So I definitely agree with Struds on this one. Hardcore fans will come clamouring back like the junkies we are, while causal fans will continue to watch/cheer for teams because it's something to do on a Saturday night. I mean it's frickin entertainment we're talking about here.

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#6 nullterm
November 20 2012, 12:03AM
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The hardcore hockey fans will be back from day 1. The people that frequent the Nation, keep tabs on the lockout everyday hoping for it to end, even while we complain about the NHL&PA. All of us.

I think the NHL will take a hit with the more casual fans that aren't 365.25 hockey fans and are more along for the ride with the local sports team. Alot (if not most) of them won't be back on day 1 and it will take time to get them back on the hockey bandwagon.

And yes, we have those... even in Canada.

So I'll partly agree with Strud's "all." But I think there's other groups of people who won't come back for while. And others who had a bit of interest who have moved on.

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#7 Dave
November 20 2012, 05:37AM
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Struds is a recently retired player, and his sentiments are exactly in line with the delusional players. After the last lockout, there were many people who, as Ken Dryden said, suddenly had opportunity to examine if their lifelong habit was just that, or a passion. I think many realized that it was a habit but because we're in such a cold climate we have nothing else to do. But, many began to hold back and look at the game quite differently. In this case, this lockout and the players' obvious entitled delusion as exampled here, might surprise themselves by how many begin to truly hold back on purchases - asking why they are supporting this whole series of spinning wheels and cogs known as NHL merchandising and advertising. I know I completely quit after the last lockout. That doesn't mean I don't follow the NHL like a hawk, it just means my data set on $ is completely empty - as it pertains to tracking internet traffic & viewership. I can still tell you who scored what goals in the Oilers first cup run, how amazing Fuhr was in the 1-0 game, how even after they got run out in game 2 they knew they were going to win... still have the Journal editions from the 3-0 rout of the Canadiens years earlier. BUT, I will not buy anything that supports the NHL or its advertisers, and just because I/others are part of a data set that follows religiously, these kinds of people will discover that the data set is increasingly emptier.

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#8 anyomus
November 20 2012, 07:42AM
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BAH BAH BAH just like sheep they will be back.

They will be whipped into a frenzy when the players skate to centre ice and wave there sticks HA HA HA HA HA HA

What a joke

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#9 Chris
November 20 2012, 08:13AM
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You don't live through the last 5 years of complete #@$@show to walk away now. Maybe if the team was circa 2008 I'd be a little less enthusiastic and ready to turn my back for a few years. But for me Struds is 100% accurate, I'll begrudgingly be back the day the lockout ends. I'll be bitter for a few minutes, but I can't wait to see Yak skate out under the derrick behind Nuge/Ebs/Hall and finally start shutting up those Flamers and hopefully soon even the cocky nuck fans.

That said, I do stand firm on my commitment to avoid any official NHL merchandise and only watch games on TV (unless I get free tix) for at least 2 years. That's my commitment and barring a playoff run I won't waiver.

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#10 Woogie
November 20 2012, 08:34AM
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So... they are listening to a sports talk show which primarily talk oilers hockey and they text/call saying they won't be back? HA!

The people who won't go back are the ones who could care less to text/call and even listen to an oilers show!

I'm not saying but i'm just saying!

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#11 Darren
November 20 2012, 08:55AM
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I haven't paid for a ticket since the last lockout, but I religously watch the games on TV and I've accepted a few freebee tickets. I'll continue to do that when this lockout is over, but the NHL merchandise is the next thing to scratch off my list - no more Oilers crested gear for this guy. I will still be a fan - they just aren't getting my money. I'm tired of them fighting over it.

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#12 The Beaker
November 20 2012, 09:34AM
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Darren wrote:

I haven't paid for a ticket since the last lockout, but I religously watch the games on TV and I've accepted a few freebee tickets. I'll continue to do that when this lockout is over, but the NHL merchandise is the next thing to scratch off my list - no more Oilers crested gear for this guy. I will still be a fan - they just aren't getting my money. I'm tired of them fighting over it.

Yay for knockoff jerseys!

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#13 Saazman
November 20 2012, 10:15AM
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I think it's more likley than most think. There are many people looking to get season tickets but there are many that have given up. I have worked in Rexall for many years and have seen many paying customers give up their season tickets because the Oilers have been so bad on and off the ice. There WILL be some that stay away. Not many, but there are lots of people that can't justify the cost of a ticket and where that money goes.

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#14 Shredder
November 20 2012, 11:27AM
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Here's a hockey league that I believe will be able to compete with the other major league sports. I still think soccer is going to overtake hockey in the next 15 years, maybe not in Canada, but North America as a whole.

I understand the only possibility of this is if the NHL folds, and I don't see that happening, but I think the follwoing

28 team league (4 divisions of 7 teams - follow the proposed realignment that the NHL proposed a year ago).

Reduce the number of total games to 45, but dominate a few nights of the week: hockey Saturdays/Thursdays/Tuesdays (for example). -4 games against each divisional rival (6*4=24) -1 game against every other team in the league (7 teams per division * 3 other divisions = 21)

Playoffs are 1 game elimination (like Olympic/international hockey, NFL, and soccer). I find junior hockey to be really exciting with the 1 game elimination format. Players would have to play their hearts out on each shift.

No doubt, revenues would be down, but so would costs. Travel costs would especially be reduced. If demand is X and you reduce supply by half (roughly), the ticket prices have one direction to go, but it would make for a much more exciting atmosphere as fans only get to got so many games and sold the farm to get there.

But let me be the first to say this won't happen, it's just what I feel is best for the sport.

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#15 ryan
November 20 2012, 12:56PM
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and you wonder why no deal is done between the NHLPA and the league. This is how the players think. I thought I was delusional thinking that o'mark was going to be our next big star but struddys out did me on this one

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#16 Wayne Reynolds
November 20 2012, 12:06AM
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I agree I will be back as much as I hate to admit it. Bettman reminds me of Trudeau and the war measures(just watch me)

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#17 nullterm
November 20 2012, 12:28AM
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Dave wrote:

So what you're saying is Vancouver is losing all their fans

Hah! I was trying to be nice about it and not name names...

Every fan base will take some hit, even the Oil. The 'nuck will still have alot of loyal, day 1 fans, but I think they will lose a bit more than other markets in Canada.

I think the States will be a whole different pie though. Scorched earth pie. Given that how the economy is beat down and NFL/NBA are already in stride entertaining their fans.

And it's not the people going online and saying "Screw NHL! I'll never be back!" It's the people who don't even bother to comment that won't be back.

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#18 Dawn
November 20 2012, 12:31AM
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Well I'll be watching when they come back for sure. But then I still visit this site (and others) daily 60+ days into the lockout. Guaranteed there are people who won't. I've spoken to multiple people since this one started who never came back to the same degree after the last lockout. I get the feel that there will be more this time.

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#19 Offline Oil Fan
November 20 2012, 12:42AM
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OK. So maybe I'm not a "hardcore" hockey fan. I only play twice a week, coach a minor team, and attend a dozen WHL games and maybe an AHL or Junior A game a season. I catch the Oilers whenever they're on freeTV and I follow them fairly closely (Where's BDHS gone? What's going on with Peckham? I see Tulupov just got moved in the KHL.)

I used to have season's tickets. But I swore last time I'd never pay for another ticket until Bettman and Goodenow were both gone.

And I never have.

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#20 Sanaa Montana
November 20 2012, 12:45AM
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@nullterm

I believe you are being polite when you say:"even the Oil."

However, I agree that Vancouver will lose more than other markets in Canada. To me, it seems that most Vancouver fans are not so loyal Oiler fans who started to cheer for and recognize their citys team once the Oilers began to suck. Oilers sucking helped Canucks onto a Presidents or two, unlike the Canucks the rest of the league better teams didn't have the 1st overall Oilers to steal 10 points or more a year for years. The Canucks team tried harder is games against the Oilers during the regular season than they did in some of their Stanley Cup games, #@$%ing gargamels.

NHL needs a team in Kansas City bad, the Chiefs suck!

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#21 sofarsogood
November 20 2012, 12:45AM
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Anybody listening to sport talk shows (in canada-which usually means hockey), reading online or in the paper, checking stats or standings of the CHL, KHL, junior teams etc. will guaranteed be back as soon as "don't BET on me MAN and inFUHRiating" have there arms across each other shoulders with them phony smiles. Teams like anaheim, florida, columbus will be hurting from lack of fans. In other words the US teams that do alright the fans will come back, the bottom dwellers will have trouble. One exception will be the coyotes. They will do poor no matter what.

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#22 Sanaa Montana
November 20 2012, 12:47AM
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Offline Oil Fan wrote:

OK. So maybe I'm not a "hardcore" hockey fan. I only play twice a week, coach a minor team, and attend a dozen WHL games and maybe an AHL or Junior A game a season. I catch the Oilers whenever they're on freeTV and I follow them fairly closely (Where's BDHS gone? What's going on with Peckham? I see Tulupov just got moved in the KHL.)

I used to have season's tickets. But I swore last time I'd never pay for another ticket until Bettman and Goodenow were both gone.

And I never have.

I don't believe you.

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#23 jeanshorts
November 20 2012, 01:03AM
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Sanaa Montana wrote:

I believe you are being polite when you say:"even the Oil."

However, I agree that Vancouver will lose more than other markets in Canada. To me, it seems that most Vancouver fans are not so loyal Oiler fans who started to cheer for and recognize their citys team once the Oilers began to suck. Oilers sucking helped Canucks onto a Presidents or two, unlike the Canucks the rest of the league better teams didn't have the 1st overall Oilers to steal 10 points or more a year for years. The Canucks team tried harder is games against the Oilers during the regular season than they did in some of their Stanley Cup games, #@$%ing gargamels.

NHL needs a team in Kansas City bad, the Chiefs suck!

The thing about Vancouver is it's more about going to the game than actually following the Canucks. Tickets here are not only incredibly hard to get but they're stupid expensive, cause there is a huge market for them (and I think most of the price hike is caused by people with too much money who don't know any better and, again, want to be seen at the game or talk about how they went to the Canucks game. Shelling out 600 bucks for tickets isn't that much when you drop double that on bottle service at Republic later in the night I guess). So, I mean, the fanbase is already fair-weather as it is, and they've still had a crazy high number of consecutive sell outs. I don't think they're going to take as much of a hit as people think.

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#24 kieso
November 20 2012, 01:06AM
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I think the US fans are a different issue. I was a huge Montreal Expos and baseball fan at one point in my life. The 1994 strike ended me watching or thinking about baseball forever (Lowetide might understand). So casual fans without a team in their city and close connection to one can and will stop watching.

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#25 Walter Sobchak
November 20 2012, 01:13AM
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Well, since the Oilers already have my money for this season or next I'm pretty sure I'll be back.........but I'm not buying a Yakupov Jersey!!! Who am I kidding, I'll get that too.

I think most teams in Canada will be just fine, in fact I think there so hockey starved you might even see an increase in HRR!!

On the flip side, some teams in the US might just be in deep trouble.

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#26 Muji
November 20 2012, 01:19AM
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NHL hockey players and NHL team owners really, really suck at negotiating. Specifically, negotiating new CBA agreements. They're bad. Painfully bad. Hilariously bad. What-the-hell-is-this-really-happening-again-oh-my-god-seriously-why bad.

However, on the other hand, they're relatively good at putting on the best show of hockey in the world. So, once they stop this silly negotiating process and get back to something that they don't really-really-really stink at, I'll be back to watch.

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#27 nullterm
November 20 2012, 01:59AM
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@Sanaa Montana

By "even the Oil" I mean...

Oilers fans will be back. 100%

But there are Edmontonians who don't care much about hockey *insert gasp* but will on occasion cheer for the local team (Oilers) at times.

In the same way, I know personally know people that cheered for the team back in the Dougie Weight days, but moved on after the team was in the bucket for so long.

The important distinction, having lived in both markets: Edmonton on average cares more about the hockey team, good times and BAD.

If the Canucks were 29th/30th, they'd shunned and ignored by most people. The hardcore Linden lovin' minority of fans would stick it out.

Where Oil fans still seem to sell out our old, decrepit concrete barn even if it's a band of 3rd/4th line misfits getting pounded on the scoreboard every night.

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#28 Time Travelling Sean
November 20 2012, 02:22AM
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I hate this lockout, however if the American teams take a hit maybe that's a good thing. Get those stupid teams out of Florida and Texas and move them to a place that actually wants them.

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#29 @Oilanderp
November 20 2012, 03:17AM
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SHUT UP!!!

*runs away bawling*

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#30 Jason Strudwick
November 20 2012, 06:39AM
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Let me just clear up a few things. Yes I believe all fans will be back. When I say back I mean by watching some hockey. It doesn't mean buying season tickets or jerseys,just tuning into the tv to watch hockey go.

I also said I wasn't including the U.S because that is a different market. I only said Canada.

I was a big hockey fan before I was a player. I have now gone back to being a fan. I didn't enjoy watching hockey as a player but this is my first year out of playing and I miss watching the NHL. I am surprised by this. Am I frustrated with the lockout?m100% it really pisses me off. But the second the first puck drops this year or next I will be right back.

Strud

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#31 mayorblaine
November 20 2012, 06:55AM
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i "may" not watch the rest of the shortened season that could occur, but i will NOT purchase any related, HRR contributing merchandise.

next year i'm in. at least in Edmonton we have a young core who are not representative of the harcore lockout players that are ruining their reputations.

#gooil

#eatsh!tflames

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#32 The Beaker
November 20 2012, 07:09AM
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Thats the things I've been saying for a while I've tried for 2 years now to really get into the nfl. The lockout here provided me with the perfect opportunity to do that. Basically the result is that no matter what happens, the NHL and the PA could be a shining beacon of light for all to admire for the rest of my life, the NHL just lost half of any Merchandise dollars from me forever. Likely, they will lose half of the merchandise money that will come from any of my children for the rest of their lives as well.

Times that by ALOT and well it adds up.

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#33 HardBoiledOil
November 20 2012, 07:11AM
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i was listening to Strudwick yesterday and he's right....Canadian fans shall return, but, as has been mentioned, what the fans may not do in the near future anyways is buy jerseys and other keepsakes, as well as not buy tickets or renew their waiting list spot or, in some cases, renew season tix or mini packs.

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#34 Peacecountry
November 20 2012, 07:36AM
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I think that the NHL and the PA have being making a crucial mistake over the last two decades. Hockey fans all know that there are billions of money in the industry. What fans don't want to see is players and management fighting about it. This goes beyond just lockouts, but holdouts, free agency, and contract negotiations too.

What the most fans enjoy is the game and the players. There are great people involved like Iginla, Thornton, and every other guy you are cheering for in the finals to win a cup. When the talk on sports channels, the papers and around the water coolers returns to hockey, and not money, the fans will return too.

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#35 CaptainLander
November 20 2012, 08:21AM
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No way I will not return, but I think I can manage to stay away for the first 5 games.

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#36 Rick
November 20 2012, 08:50AM
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If we are to believe the Oilers they are fortunate enough to be operating with a season ticket wait list.

That means that there can be a softening of support or some lockout blow back without anyone but the Oilers realizing it.

The way I look at it is that fan apathy is a little like rust, it starts where you don't see it and by the time you do it has enough momentum that is becomes very very difficult to reign in.

On that analogy I wonder if in a market like Edmonton (Canada as a whole for that matter)it would probably be better for the NHL to scuttle the whole season instead of salvaging half of it.

The difference of having a resolution before the draft (for example) instead of before December is that a resolution in June - with all the fanfare of the draft and free agency can rebuild the momentum and energy where as a quick resolution may see half a season played out with resentful and pissed off fans.

If there are enough pissed off fans the rink can see empty seats, when that happens the sense of demand goes out the window which can drag out beyond the confines of this season - especially if the Oilers are once again a bottom 3rd team. We already saw what apathy did in the 90's and there is no reason history can't repeat itself again, even in hockey mad Edmonton.

Anyways, personally and more immediately, they have my money for this year so someone, in some form, will be probably be using the seats. I can guarantee one thing, they won't see a dime for beer, food or merchandise and considering HRR is the rallying cry of this lock out and considering how much I usually allow my self to spend at each game that will still allow me to make my own personal statement.

As for next year, I haven't decided.

I think everyone can agree that any fan statement made isn't done with the intention of sewering the league or born from a disinterest in the sport. It would be a statement made to point out that at some point the league and the players have to stop taking us - the paying public - for granted and that the fans ARE an important part of the equation and we have limitations in what we can stand for.

Jason's statements from last night clearly show he, for one, doesn't see that.

Unfortunate.

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#37 Serious Gord
November 20 2012, 09:14AM
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First lets admit that strudwick and probably all of those reading this are at the very top of the NHL consumer pyramid. At the very least this groups perspective is hardly the average potential consumer of sports entertainment let alone hockey entertainment.

Second it is reasonable to acknowledge that the entertainment universe is vastly different than it was even just a few years back when the league past shutdown. The choices and means of consumption have grown exponentially. From the perspective of people in their formative entertainment years - say age 6 to 12 NHL hockey is in against the likes of minecraft.

Third while the length of the last league closure was unprecedented another unprecedented era began at the end of that closure - the end of the dead puck era - the end if clutch and grab and a literal renaissance in the NHL game. And we had the confluence of a NHL hungry fanbase invigorated by the vastly improved entertainment value of the 'new' game.

When this closure ends there will likely be no renaissance in the game which has over the last season or so fallen back into another dead puck dark age.

Thus there is, I think, a mistaken assumption on the part of many of the most enthusiastic NHL and hockey fans - strudwick definitely being one - that what happened after the end of the last closure will be repeated this time around. I think that they are in for a rude shock - that the fringe can will not come back. And more seriously long term - that the young proto-fan will have and continue to develop enthusiasm for some other form of entertainment.

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#38 Rama Lama
November 20 2012, 09:23AM
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Any one that took the time to post here, will be back!

You see generally speaking our lives our pathetic, we have six months of winter and nothing better to do. if I were living somewhere warm, you can bet I would have discovered something better and would not be posting on this site.

Time for a new league, where players play because they love hockey! According to the NHLPA players, they got hosed, robbed, and screwed on the last deal........then why are they trying so hard to keep this deal in place?

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#39 Apathetic
November 20 2012, 09:28AM
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Live in Central Ontario and would drive to Ottawa, Toronto, Buffalo, and sometimes Montreal whenever the Oilers rolled through. Not doing that again. Yes, I'll tune in, but won't fork over anymore cash for Centre Ice. Disgust has transitioned to apathy while baseball and the Jays have leaped frogged the NHL and the Oilers for my sporting attention.

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#40 andrewmk20
November 20 2012, 09:35AM
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He's right all CANADIAN fans will be back. It's the American demographic that the NHL has to worry about. With the NFL and MLB being their top priorities and the NBA and college sports right behind the NHL can quickly become forgotten in the US. They will still generate a good profit from Canada but if the US audience falls significantly what happens to their US tv deals?

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#41 Will
November 20 2012, 09:37AM
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The worst thing about this lockout is the timing. True, in the last couple of years I've gotten incredibly excited at the prospect of watching Taylor Hall, Eberle, then the Nuge, the idea of a healthy Hemsky, the return of Smyth, but to have that core going forward with the additions of Schultz and Yak, I really wish this lockout wasn't happening.

Let me ask the fans this, would you come back to the NHL if indeed our team was moved in the light of the arena talks going flat? I know that is unlikely to happen, but say it did, would you walk away?

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#42 Adam Brown
November 20 2012, 09:47AM
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I don't think Strudwick or the NHL for that matter realizes how much more pissed off fans are this go around. Last time was kind of a suprise, but we came back hoping that it would never happen again. This time is different. This time they threw it in our faces saying, oh, you'll be back. We care more about the money than we do about you.

I'm not going to lie and say I'll never watch hockey again. Of course I will. But from now on I will only be watching the free games on TV. I am NEVER paying to go watch a game again. And I will never buy another NHL product. I can still get my NHL fix without supporting those greedy pricks with another dime. (I suppose they might get a bit from my cable provider, but come on, whats that, 50 bucks a year?).

They can kiss my hockey tickets, stadium concessions and ANY NHL merchandise goodbye.

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#43 Brody
November 20 2012, 09:47AM
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It's kinda sad but I will be back the second the puck drops. Dispite the lockout, the rink drama and having to watch a bottom feeder for years, I will gladly go back and watch. Man that's actually sad...

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#44 Lebowski
November 20 2012, 09:50AM
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I haven't bought a ticket for many years. Can't afford to go. Even if I could, I wouldn't because I get really pissed watching millionaires make more money in one game than I make in a year e.g. $6,000,000/82 = $73,170. The system is broke bad, viewing in in perspective against the backdrop of reality.

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#45 book¡e
November 20 2012, 10:00AM
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I think the word 'ALL' is Strud's mistake here and it doesn't help the whole perception of entitlement when an ex-NHLer takes fans for granted (though he is largely right that people will return).

About a decade ago I missed a season of hockey due to being in Africa and I realized that I didn't miss it at all. Since then, I follow the game and ON and Lowetide's sites have really engaged me as a fan, but I miss about half the games and I haven't spent a dime on the game in more than a decade (other than my subscription to the general 'sports pack' with Shaw).

The stands will be full, but will ticket prices increase as quickly, will there be downward pressures on ticket prices? I think the era of $200 jerseys is already doomed (the materials cost about $3). Prices and salaries in hockey grew at about 3x the rate of inflation through the 80s and 90s. That doesn't happen to too many goods or services. It was supported by generous public subsidies and a peak in excitement in the game of hockey. The downward pressures on prices and salaries are a bit of a market correction. I am not saying we will see a collapse of the hockey market, but rather that prices will increase at a rate lower than inflation over the next decade .

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#46 vetinari
November 20 2012, 10:25AM
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I'll follow the team on the internet and on tv, but for every game missed, I pledge to stay away from Rexall and from buying Oiler gear for an equal amount of time. I can only control what I can control and the longer the lockout, the longer I will stop direct financial support of the team (being tickets, concessions, Oiler gear).

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#47 David S
November 20 2012, 10:26AM
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What's interesting with this lockout is you get to see all the crap TV other non-fans watch during the week. Seriously. The only thing that's keeping me sane is Two And a Half Men (the old, funny Charlie Sheen shows) and all the hot news/weather women on Global news (hubba!).

Let's face it. NHL hockey is the best thing on TV for at least six months of the year. We'll ALL be back like Struddy says.

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#48 Fed Up
November 20 2012, 10:37AM
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I will watch the games on TV but that is it. I wont buy any merchandise or jerseys or tickets to the games. They can enjoy the minuscule amount of revenue they get from TV, but that is all they will get from me.

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#49 mayorblaine
November 20 2012, 10:42AM
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David S wrote:

What's interesting with this lockout is you get to see all the crap TV other non-fans watch during the week. Seriously. The only thing that's keeping me sane is Two And a Half Men (the old, funny Charlie Sheen shows) and all the hot news/weather women on Global news (hubba!).

Let's face it. NHL hockey is the best thing on TV for at least six months of the year. We'll ALL be back like Struddy says.

if one's focus is TV and you're a hardcore hockey fan, then yes you will watch. what the lockout has done is alientated those of us who love to turn the game on because it's hockey and my team.

love hockey and will follow it but as my kids grow and they would rather play, read, or go outdoors (cold or not) then this is what i will do. i will not make an effort to watch the game. if it "fits" then ok.

i think many many people will become more casual about their hockey and the place it has in their life. i would count on that.

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#50 6 ring circus
November 20 2012, 10:51AM
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The Oiler's have to much going for them for season ticket holders not to come back.We have stayed loyal through the rebuild and I for one, want to see it through,plus it has been pretty quite on the new arena front, who knows maybe Oiler's fans will get a new arena announcement and NHL hockey for Christmas!!!!

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