For the bullet summary, please go here.
Just in case things don’t go the ‘Canadian’ Way in the Glendale Court…..
Fellow hockey fans of Southern Ontario, Canada, and the World:
Perhaps we are just not that important.
We can come to that conclusion based on the attitude of the National Hockey League, the Toronto Maple Leafs, the NHL’s Board of Governors, the reporting from major newspapers in the GTA, and others.
We are just not that big a deal.
Who are we kidding? After all, we are hockey nuts, right? Or, are we just nuts that like hockey?
We are powerful and have a strong voice that will really impact the NHL and they had better treat us right. Or, are we just a minor inconvenience that will blow over, and the true hockey fans located for the mostpart in the U.S. don’t know or for that matter, even care that we are upset. Is that it?
It must be OK for the NHL head office and the teams voting against Jim Balsillie to give it to Jim and to us. We’ll get over it. We are true fans, and we really can’t stay away from the game. We will get over it, and flock around our television sets once again when the puck drops next season. We will watch as the cameras scan over the crowds in the sunbelt U.S., strategically placed to ensure it looks like the stands are full.
We will watch, and we will wonder what it would be like to walk up to a ticket booth on game day, and buy some really good seats to see a couple of teams, and a game that looks much faster in person. Those lucky fans, we will think, as we blog, and gossip with other Canadians in Southern Ontario, that gather in front of the TV to watch the Canadian game, in the only way we can. Artificially that is.
We will continue to wonder if the circumstances that surrounded Winnipeg and Quebec City were truly as bad as we would be led to believe. We will wonder how they feel when they, on a Saturday night, gather with their memories and passion, around their collective TV sets to see the game in the only way they now can. Virtually.
We will wonder how they feel as they watch their old teams. Do they still have the passion for their team? The players are mostly if not all gone. Do they still think of the team as ‘their team’? We will wonder because that’s all we can do.
From coast to coast, the Leafs remind us of a passion that unites us all. The Toronto Maple Leafs would hope it was their team that unites us. The question is, does it?
The NHL must know something we don’t. The Toronto Maple Leafs too don’t seem too concerned. They must think this urge and desire to see real NHL hockey in person is a dream we can get over.
We will put our differences aside, and our resentment to the Toronto Maple Leafs organization for the obvious attitude of superiority, and we will learn again to love those Leafs, despite how dismal a display they will have on the ice again this year, like all the other years.
We’ll get over it because we are hockey fans, and they are banking on us not being able to resist the game.
They know we are saps that will continue to take whatever they dish out, and come back. And, if we are lucky, really lucky, perhaps we will win the lottery, and someone will offer to sell us a couple of seats to a Leaf game this year.
We will get over our hope to have hockey for the masses. Where a family can go online and buy a few seats to an upcoming Hamilton game, and treat the family to true, professional hockey. We will survive. Our kids will survive. It’s just the way it must be.
And, we will get over the memory of knowing that the Phoenix Coyotes hockey team to the City of Glendale, AZ was more to do about land and area development, and that ‘that hockey team’ was simply a means to achieve city growth. We will learn to put our differences aside. We will learn to forgive the snow job fed the people of Arizona when the team is relocated. After all, all the hype of the court case by that time will have blown over, and reality will be easier to palate.
We will learn to forgive the notable hockey players in the NHLPA that didn’t squeek a rah rah when we were in time of need. We will learn to forgive the Canadian hockey players that have a better tax deal playing and living in the U.S., because despite the fact they are Canadian, we must forgive the fact they need to bank the millions now, while they are still healthy. We will learn that to be a Canadian playing the NHL game means sacrificing your heritage and patriotic pride.
It is much more important to have NHL hockey in the deep southern United States, where to sell a seat, you must throw in a program, perhaps a burger, and maybe that beer.
It is much more important to see if Gary Bettman and the NHL can get a lucrative TV deal despite the fact that college wrestling stands a better chance.
It is much more important to ensure NHL hockey gets exposed in a geographic manner so that more merchandise can be sold as a novelty to people that don’t really like the game necessarily, but think the clothing looks cool. And, let’s not forget Gary. Gary gets a piece of the profits of that merchandise. That is so important. What were we thinking?
Yes, we Canadians are expected to get over it.
We will not sign petitions, or stop buying merchandise, or revolt against the machine.
Yes, the Toronto Maple Leafs have a slogan, the Passion that Unites Us All!
I guess they will ensure the passion to see hockey will remain a passion to see ‘Leaf’ hockey, come hell or high water.
There may be a new passion building in Southern Ontario, in Winnipeg, in Quebec City, and other parts of Canada.
Will we get over it? They certainly hope so.
The new breed of ‘passion’ of the Canadian hockey fans may tell a different story in the coming days, weeks, months, and years.
There may be a new and improved passion that unites us all. Let’s see what that is!