New York – An NHL lockout has been expected for awhile now and over the past few weeks several websites and twitter accounts have sprung up. One of which titled “No Hockey Lockout” has arranged a protest at the NHL offices in New York. The purpose of the protest is to remind the NHL that unlike last time with the absence of social media the fans can communicate and mobilize much easier.
The current collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and NHLPA is set to expire tonight (September 15th) at midnight and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has stated the league would lock it’s players out if a new deal is not agreed on. The players have stated they would continue to play under the current CBA while working with the NHL to come to an agreement on a new deal. The fans having already suffered through two lockouts, the most recent having lost the entire 2004-2005 season are tired of being caught in the middle of the discussions as if they were a child in the middle of two parents getting a divorce.
The players themselves are fans as well and realize the “pains” fans are going through, but fans need to realize in the end players are fighting for their own future and not the fans. This isn’t meant as a reference to the game itself but more so the players future after hockey with the money they would make.
Fans are currently outside of the NHL offices and while it won’t convince them to get a deal done instantly, it may in fact pressure the league in working harder in coming to an agreement with the NHLPA. The admin of www.NoHockeyLockout.com who goes by the name “Russel” is currently at the protest and working with authorities to keep things peaceful and ensure everything runs smoothly. Media has already arrived to document the event and interview protesters who are steadily growing by the moment.
Protests are also currently happening at the Bell Centre in Montreal, the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa and the TD Garden in Boston, which had been arranged through No Hockey Lockout.
Update: Number at protest in New York is somewhere between 30-40, what they lack in numbers they make up for in passion, by standing up for something they care for. Group began chanting “lockout the players, lockout the fans!”, signaling that they’re in this together.
Fans are steadily coming and going from the event to show support, as well as passers by commenting that they support the fans. A lot of Canadian media is also on hand for interviews and to document the event, gathering good information and footage.
Continue to check back if you’d like to stay up to date, or feel free to follow me on twitter (@RobMc82) for the latest information.