For two long months, the NHL and NHLPA played with our emotions more than any ex ever did. This emotion roller coaster seems to never end because NHL players and owners refuse to budge on the new CBA. The talks once again ended between Bettman's side and Fehr's side last week, which left fans wondering about the cancellation of the entire 2012/2012 season. We just want a simple "yes" or "no" answer.
On November 3, the two sides seemed to put together a productive meeting that lasted several hours. The get together prompted a series of meeting the continued throughout the week. Pittsburgh Penguins' captain Sidney Crosby even attended Tuesday's meeting, which gave fans false hope. After multiple days of meeting, and seemingly productive talks, the sides left New York with no answer. The owners' side claims that they left less optimistic than ever before, and Crosby left mentioning that he pondered leaving to play for a European squad.
This is the third time that owners alienated fans by locking players out, and this time the long strides that the sport took to become popular again in the U.S. seem all for naught. The more I talk to casual fans, the less interest they show in the sport. The Winter Classic cancellation brought heartache to all of the fans in Hockeytown that lost out on an incredible experience. Not to mention, Toronto fans lost the chance to watch their squad in the outdoor spotlight for the first time. At this point, the sides need to consider the fans that pump money into the NHL system, and make a decision soon.
At this point, Bettman already canceled all games up to December 1 and the Winter Classic. Time continues to go against the fans who continue to sit and wait for the season. Soon enough, December's arrival surely stands to prompt a new cancellation of another month of games. Honestly, I just want an answer that secures the season's fate. I check the news and keep up with twitter trying to grab updates that fail to exist on the progress of NHL hockey. More and more players seem to rush to Europe, or the AHL/ECHL daily, which kills my hope a little bit at a time. Heck, I even shaved my lockout beard I sported for two months. It looked quite gruesome, but it needed to disappear. I kept my Movember moustache, though, which means hope still exists in my heart of hearts.
So, NHL and NHLPA, as a lifelong fan who rides the emotional roller coaster, please make a decision on the season. If you collectively decide that a season cannot happen, then I will be completely content with that outcome as long as I do not have to face tomorrow wondering whether or not hockey is coming back. I think fans deserve better than this.

Posted in Pittsburgh Penguins

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