|"something something Winter Classic cancelled something something I'm an asshole."|
The Winter Classic is a celebration of hockey and the National Hockey League, but the latter should have nothing to celebrate this year even if a 2012-13 season is saved. Thriving financially since the 2004-05 Lockout and with the game doing better than ever, the NHL and NHLPA continue to negotiate over how much of the fans money each other should get. Hockey fans should be grateful the Winter Classic is cancelled because even if the Lockout did end you know it would be a shitty event run by the NHL to try and forget about all the lost games this season. Not to mention they would rake in the money from fans buying up Winter Classic merchandise and right now I'd rather see them lose money on the event.
One of the best parts of the Winter Classic is the big hype and build up to the event on HBO's 24/7. Even if the NHL started up today and the camera crews were following players around it wouldn't be the same as the past two years. The players would still be bitter from the Lockout and might not be as revealing or fun as we've seen in the past. Even as a fan watching I would be looking at the show a different way.
In past seasons when you saw the players driving in their fancy cars and kissing their hot wives goodbye as they left their families for a road trip you were jealous of their money, but understood what they have to give up. Their was that human element that brought out some emotion as you saw a player almost not want to leave his wife and infant child for two weeks to go to work. Now I would just think about how they have to leave for a few days to hang with the boys, stay in fancy hotels, play a few games and make some great money for doing so. Two weeks of that and you're away from your wife and kids? Beer league players are grateful for their three hours at the rink on Wednesday nights because they get out of the house for some hockey solitude. They get two weeks and make millions for it!
NHL fans are loyal, but we aren't stupid and if the NHL tried to put on a half-assed Winter Classic it might ruin the event for the future. We know what the Winter Classic means to the NHL in terms of money and to put on this event after all that has transpired the past two months would just be like laughing in fans faces as they pick our pockets.