Jan 19, 2013

Season Predictions

Well hello to all of my loyal followers (all 3 of you). It's been far too long and I blame that on the NHL, the NHLPA, and my all-encompassing laziness. Today, I'm here to tell you what I think will happen in this shortened version of an NHL season because I know you're all (all 3 of you) hanging on my every word. What can I say? My opinion is just that important (to me). I wish you all a wonderful weekend filled with hours upon hours of hockey-watching and ignoring all of your other day-to-day responsibilities.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

1. New York Rangers
2. Boston Bruins
3. Tampa Bay Lightning
4. Pittsburgh Penguins
5. Philadelphia Flyers
6. Buffalo Sabres
7. Washington Capitals
8. Carolina Hurricanes
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9. Ottawa Senators
10. Winnipeg Jets
11. Toronto Maple Leafs
12. New Jersey Devils
13. Florida Panthers
14. Net York Islanders
15. Montreal Canadiens

WESTERN CONFERENCE

1. Los Angeles Kings
2. Chicago Blackhawks
3. Vancouver Canucks
4. St. Louis Blues
5. Nashville Predators
6. San Jose Sharks
7. Detroit Red Wings
8. Minnesota Wild
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9. Phoenix Coyotes
10. Edmonton Oilers
11. Anaheim Ducks
12. Dallas Stars
13. Calgary Flames
14. Colorado Avalanche
15. Columbus Blue Jackets

Enjoy the season everyone!



Oct 14, 2012

FAITH

Today is Sunday, October 14th, 2012 to most people. To the passionate NHL hockey fan, however, it is far more than that: it is day 29 of the most recent and likely the most frustrating NHL lockout. What should have been the opening weekend of the 2012-2013  NHL season has now come and gone and the return of the game we love is looking less and less likely with each passing day. The only ray of hope that exists is that there is one major difference this time around. The NHL and the NHLPA are actually getting together and having discussions, even if they are not based on the "core issues". In 2004, the NHL and the PA essentially shut down all lines of communication for months.

Over the last few weeks as these unfruitful discussions have come and gone, the fans have heard a lot about "negotiating in good faith". Each side seems to feel that they are indeed bargaining in such a way and the the other side is not. While each side may hold that delusional belief, it is abundantly clear to even the most casual hockey fan that there is currently no "good faith" involved. We are even left to wonder if there is any negotiating going at all, good faith or not. What is going on is actually something much different than most fans would hope and it's quite simple to describe. It is not negotiating or bargaining or compromising; it is waiting. You may ask, "Waiting? Waiting for what?" and my answer would be that they are waiting for the other side to crack. This is the exact tactic that the NHL employed to great success in the last lockout and they are holding on to the hope that it will work again. However, this time they are dealing with a different beast. They are dealing with a players' association that is very united under the leadership of Donald Fehr and are not showing any signs of giving in any time soon.

So what does all of this mean for the little guy in the equation, the hockey fan? It means that we will not be seeing our game return any time soon unless things change drastically. We need somebody involved in this mind-numbingly irritating process to put the fans ahead of their bank accounts. We need somebody to realize that it is not the PR battle that is most important but the game itself. We need somebody to realize that an agreement of this magnitude cannot be reached through waiting and refusing to actually negotiate in "good faith". Are the NHL and the NHLPA capable of doing these things? Only time will tell, but I currently have little faith that the lights in the NHL's thirty arenas will be turned on any time in the near future. Boy, do I ever hope I'm wrong...