Should the NHL worry about the "casual fan"?

Ryan Fancey
December 05 2012 11:11AM

It seems like every time a discussion starts up about the damage the NHL (as a whole) has done to itself during the lockout, both financially and in the public eye, it always comes down to the same statement.

"The die-hards will be back, but it's the casual fan leaving that should worry the NHL"

I've probably agreed with this in the past, or simply didn't think about it enough. But now I'm not so sure the NHL should bother worrying about the casual fan, at least not at this point.

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It’s nice to be wrong

Jonathan Willis
December 04 2012 10:59PM

An NHL lockout is a cynical business, with two extremely rich parties fighting for a wicked pile of cash. The most recent edition has been particularly galling, with two sides seemingly able to agree on a myriad of issues but unwilling to bridge the small gap between them.

Given that, naturally I was cynical about the December 4 meeting between players and owners – without the presence of league commissioner Gary Bettman or NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr. I thought it likely to be an empty ploy without hope of succeeding. And to be clear: it hasn’t succeeded yet. But for the first time in quite a while, things are looking up.

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KHL: The last few days

Steve Dangle
December 04 2012 12:11PM

 

It's a lockout, but I've barely noticed.

Been very busy over the last few days with a bunch of things, so without further delay, here's a whollllle bunch of KHL games and action from the last few days. Alex Ovechkin's first KHL hat trick, Malkin gets 4 points, and some orgasmic goals. Yes. Orgasimic.

Enjoy!

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Tyler Biggs, Garret Sparks named to preliminary USA junior roster

Cam Charron
December 04 2012 10:42AM

As speculated yesterday and widely assumed, two Toronto Maple Leafs prospects were named to the American World Junior preliminary squad, both off their OHL teams. That's Tyler Biggs of the Oshawa Generals, selected in the first round of the 2011 draft, and Garret Sparks, goaltender for the Guelph Storm, selected in the 7th round that same year.

America's camp runs from December 16 to December 23, with much less pomp the Canadian trials will offer, and also fewer players. Only four skaters will be cut from the preliminary roster, and with the team likely to take three goalies to Russia, I think it's safe to say both Biggs and Sparks will make the trip. Whether Sparks sees any action is dependent on the health of John Gibson.

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NHL OWNERS AND PLAYERS FACE-TO-FACE

Jason Gregor
December 04 2012 08:21AM

Donald Fehr and Gary Bettman will not be directly involved in today's meeting between six NHL owners and a select group of NHL players, but don't jump to a conclusion assuming that both sides will suddenly find some common ground with their leaders out of the room.

Bettman has long been the player's whipping boy. They actually believe that he wants to ruin the game and that he's the ultimate puppet master pulling the owner's strings. Meanwhile the NHL is certain that Fehr is not telling the players the truth, even though many of them have been present during most of the negotiations.

The lockout was asinine to begin with, but it's becoming more laughable by the day. It would be great if today's meeting will start an avalanche of positive negotiations, or as Steve Burton reported continue on the "significant progress" they allegedly made yesterday.

We'll see.

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