With a tentative collecting bargaining agreement ending the NHL lockout and a short season that only someone with a “little man complex” can appreciate scheduled to start in approximately 10 days, the apologies from league executives are coming in hot and heavy. Of course, at this point, these apologies are nothing but empty words by people who want to continue raking in as much cash as possible from exploited fans. Some of these expressions of regret have been enough to make an iron stomach churn.
If the NHL executives were sincerely remorseful, they would start by getting rid of part time commissioner (approximately 10% of scheduled games lost during his tenure) and full-time schmuck Gary Bettman. By continuing to keep Bettman and his New York lawyer cronies around to represent the league’s interests, the owners are just paying lip service to their cash cow fan base with their apologetic tone.
In all fairness, some owners such as Montreal Canadiens Geoff Molson did state that they are working on providing the fans some sort of compensation for their inconvenience. Hopefully, this does not consist of insulting the fans with a fan appreciation day where the team gives away some cheap made in China rally towels to wave during games. Besides, the owners should have more use for the towels to wipe away their crocodile tears.
Is this a cynical darksider position to take? In the words of Sarah Palin, you betcha! But then again, how can you not be cynical towards individuals who are driven by greed and possess an insatiable desire to continuously abuse and manipulate their customers?
Of course, there are those hockey fans who have no interest in apologies and concessions and are ready to sprint back to the arenas as soon as the doors open. The league has obviously done an extraordinary job in conditioning these junky fans to accept the repetitive lockouts as business as usual. Without such blind loyalty to fall back on, chances are these nonsensical work stoppages would have never happened in the first place.
And the apologies have not been limited to league executives worrying about their bottom line. In fact, Chicago Blackhawks RW Patrick Kane got the apology ball rolling approximately two months ago by stating, “To the fans back in North America, we want to say that we’re sorry this lockout stuff is going on. It’s tough for all of us.”
I wonder if Kane also apologized to the Buffalo cab driver he allegedly beat the crap out of approximately three and one half years ago?