NHL Kicks Hurricane Sandy Weary Hockey Fans
Fans of the movie Airplane! may recall when Rex Kramer asked Ted Striker, “Do you know what it’s like to fall in the mud and get kicked… in the head… with an iron boot? Of course you don’t, no one does. It never happens…..”
Well, if you are a NHL fan who lives in any hurricane Sandy ravaged states (New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut) then you know that it DOES happen.
Through tired, shell shocked eyes Sandy-beaten hockey fans from these states that are peppered with the faithful of the New York Rangers, New York Islanders, New Jersey Devils, Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers, and Boston Bruins got to read of yet another cancellation from the NHL due to its lockout.
This time it was not a block of games, but the now highly anticipated and revered NHL Winter Classic which actually has become economic producer for the bottom-feeding league. It also gives the casual and non-hockey fan something to do on the usually boring, lethargic New Year’s Day.
This bold move by commissioner Gary Bettman is not a good sign for ANY hockey fan as time appears to be running out on saving the season. The logistics of putting on an outdoor hockey game and all its’ ancillary PR events are just too complex and not worth the effort if there are no guarantees.
“The logistical demands of staging events of this magnitude made today’s decision unavoidable. We simply are out of time,” owners’ deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement. “We are extremely disappointed, for our fans and all those affected, to have to cancel the Winter Classic and Hockeytown Winter Festival.”
This year’s game was to have taken place at the Big House in Michigan. The opponents were to be Hockeytown’s own Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs; the first Canadian team to participate in the annual event.
The lock out has hurt those who love this game and was further compounded by the arrival of hurricane Sandy who reminded us that it is just a game. But it is that game, such as the Winter Classic, that allows us to cope with such horrific events. Now we have nothing.
I guess we can always watch the Sundried Tomato King of El Paso Bowl on New Year’s Day?