Since I not expecting the NHL season to start on-time, I never did print out a Washington Capitals schedule and put it up in my cube, so I don’t know how many games have been lost by the latest lockout. I miss watching the Caps a few nights of the week and the hockey talk that we have had in my office. Until this year, there was more hockey talk than any other sport which is a bit surprising. I’ve always enjoyed having the regular seasons of baseball and hockey on the opposite ends of each other — they flow in nicely. When they have a season.
In terms of blame, I’m putting it on the NHL owners and commissioner Gary Bettman. This is the third lockout in less than 20 years, second in the last 8. The owners seem to want the players to take another salary rollback because owners can’t discipline themselves to stop spending so much, despite growing revenues. The NHL players already agreed to a 24% rollback after the 2004-2005 season was lost. Nothing but bad faith from NHL ownership, many of whom play in publicly financed arenas.
I’m including Caps owner Ted Leonsis as part of the blame. This is the second lockout of his Caps ownership tenure; third if you include the Washington Wizards of the NBA, which had a lockout last season. If owners like Leonsis don’t want to pay players they ought to sell their teams. I am disinclined from going to any Caps games or buy any merchandise during the season after the lockout ends. I’ll just watch the games on TV. I don’t want to directly reward bad behavior with my money. Furthermore, I think I’ll skip going to a Wizards game. I have tried to go to at least one game of the local pro teams (Nationals, Caps, Redskins, Wizards, DC United) but if he doesn’t mind not having games, I don’t mind not going to the arena he owns or buying team merchandise for me or my family when they return. That’s a drop in the bucket of course, but I thought it was worth mentioning.
MEANWHILE IN THE BOROUGH OF CHURCHES
Looks like the New York Islanders are giving up suburbia for the urbanized part of Long Island known as Brooklyn (The Times). Can’t say I’m surprised. I have not followed the Isles efforts to get a 21st century arena in Nassau County closely, but it seems like they tried. I figured when the Brooklyn arena was announced for the former New Jersey Nets that it would be a fallback option for the Islanders. Probably a gut punch for the season ticket holders on Long Island, but for the causal fan, not so much. They still get the Islanders on TV and can at least get out on weekends to Brooklyn and its transit accessible location. They have a bigger gripe than say, the Maryland Caps fans (who started the damn “O” during the national anthem at Caps games) who whined when the Caps left Landover for D.C. proper.