Editorial — Hockey diehards are getting frustrated

The game itself may be the long-term loser if NHL lockout lasts the entire season.

Diehard hockey fans are starting to get frustrated.

The NHL lockout seems set to go on for weeks, if not months, and there is still a chance that there may be no NHL hockey at all this season.

While this costs players a lot of money, it may be costing the game itself in more long-term ways. Surveys have indicated that a significant number of NHL ticket buyers are in no rush to go back to the arenas if the lockout is settled. This is particularly true in some U.S. markets, where hockey is the third or fourth most-popular sport in the area.

The economic climate in which this lockout is taking place is much different than it was in 2004-05, when the league lost an entire season to another work stoppage. At that time, economic growth in both Canada and the United States was strong. Good times seemed endless, and sports fans were quite ready to spend money on tickets to games. They were more willing to put up with a labour disruption.

In 2012, the U.S. economy remains abysmally weak, after more than four years of job losses and falling real estate prices. Many Americans simply don’t have the disposable income that they had in 2005. If there is no hockey for a year, chances are many of them will forget about the game for a long time to come.

While most Canadian fans are much more likely to be back in their seats when the NHL resumes play, there could be a significant drop in TV viewership. Many fans who watch hockey on TV don’t get a chance to get to NHL games. In markets such as Vancouver and Toronto, it is very hard to get tickets to a game, with many season tickets held by corporations.

However, there is still plenty of good hockey on ice now. Last weekend, the Canucks’ farm team, Chicago Wolves, played Abbotsford Heat before two close to capacity crowds. AHL action is almost as good as the NHL, and it wasn’t surprising that former Canuck Zach Kassian was one of the stars in both games.

Here in Langley, the Rivermen offer an exciting brand of hockey in an excellent arena at Langley Events Centre. Their games can be every bit as exciting as an NHL contest — and at a much lower price. Parking is free as well.

There are plenty of hockey options available to fans. Many of them are seeking out those options. The NHL and its players had better hope fans retain a keen interest in the game.

Just Posted

Jean-Pierre Antonio
Article chronicling haiku in Japanese internment camp near Hope wins award

Tashme Haiku Club’s work was preserved and recently translated, authors write

Kindergarten kids from Evans elementary school in Chilliwack painted rocks with orange hearts and delivered them to Sto:lo Elders Lodge recently after learning about residential schools. (Laura Bridge photo)
Kindergarten class paints rocks with orange hearts in Chilliwack for local elders

‘Compassion and empathy’ being shown by kids learning about residential schools

Chilliwack potter Cathy Terepocki (left) and Indigenous enhancement teachers Val Tosoff (striped top) and Christine Seymour (fuchsia coat), along with students at Vedder middle school, look at some of the 500-plus pinch pots on Thursday, June 10 made by the kids to honour the 215 children found at Kamloops Indian Residential School. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack students make hundreds of tiny clay pots in honour of 215 Indigenous children

‘I think the healing process has begun,’ says teacher about Vedder middle school project

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay
Webinar looks at sexual abuse prevention among adolescents

Vancouver/Fraser Valley CoSA hosts free online session on June 15

Emergency services were on the scene of an apparent stabbing Friday afternoon (June 11) in the 2400 block of Countess Street in Abbotsford. (Photo: Kaytlin Harrison)
Two suspects arrested after apparent stabbing in Abbotsford

Incident occurs Friday afternoon in 2400 block of Countess Street

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

Most Read