Tuesday, November 20th, 2012
Dear NHL Players and NHL Owners,
Today is day #66 of the NHL lockout. I have an almost-4-year-old son, and to him, 66 days feels like a lifetime. That’s 66 days of explaining to him why he can’t watch his favorite team and his favorite players turn into idols before his eyes. That’s 66 days of explaining to him what ‘lockout’ means, and nine Saturday nights of missed Hockey-Night-in-Canada memories. That’s 66 days of baby-faced disappointment.
I am trying to teach my children the values of humility, need-vs-want, and family. Instead, what I see from you is an ongoing display of greed, ego, and entitlement. As players, you get to play the game that you love. As owners, you get to be surrounded by the game that you love. As fans, we are missing out on the game that we love.
I’ve been a true Canadian hockey fan my entire life. I spent my childhood Winter days at a small rink in an Alberta prairie town. I learned how to skate on a shoveled-off pond. I had Dale Hawerchuk posters on my wall in Grade 4 and Pavel Bure jerseys in my closet in Grade 9. I go to see a few games a year. I bring my kids. I watch hockey highlights religiously. If the local team is playing at Home when I’m on vacation, I go to the game. I’ve been to multiple NHL arenas and several Stanley Cup playoff games. I’ve been to World Juniors and World Championships, and I’ve watched more grassroots, small-town hockey than I can remember. But you’re losing me.
My interest is fading. My love for the game is dwindling. My annoyance and frustration and apathy are growing. I don’t care who’s right and I don’t care who’s wrong. Find a way to fix it. Because every day that the lockout continues is another day that born-and-bred fans like myself grow further from the sense of Canadian pride, patriotism, and belonging that hockey brings to us.
Make me feel encouraged and supportive that my son wants to be a hockey player when he grows up.