I am not, contrary to the beliefs of my coworkers, the only person who cares about hockey in the United States, or Canada for that matter, and the NHL is very – let me repeat – very concerned about winning back the favor of its fans after the 2012 lockout. Interesting to note, however, is that depending on what newspaper or column you read today, the NHL either has “work to do” to win back “hardened fans” or there really isn’t much to worry about since fans are “in a frenzy” with the sport’s return.
Let me be the first to volunteer that I am not in a frenzy. I’m not saying I’m unhappy the NHL is back, or that the owners aren’t trying to do right by the fans (and especially the season ticket holders), but all of it just seems so transparent and so…forced. Oh, you’re giving away 1,000 signed Chicago Blackhawks jerseys over the next 99 days? That’s great, but I’d rather have had you keep the swag and give me the other 34 games of the ’12-’13 season and the Winter Classic back. Oh, you’re running a lottery for a “unique experience” with a Hawks player? How about the unique experience of being a hockey fan without a constant fear of labor stoppage?