McLain: NHL is skating on thin ice with their fans

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has emerged as the bad guy in the latest labor dispute in hockey.

I don’t get it. Doesn’t the NHL understand that they have the least attended sport and the smallest fan base of any major professional sports league in North America? To have a second major work (or play?) stoppage within five years is driving away support, fans, and more importantly income for the players, the guys who need it the most.

It’s also je0pardizing the future of the National Hockey League.

I don’t know who’s running the NHL any more. Gary Bettman is being called an idiot by players, but I think the players have to realize that they have a gift from the NHL owners, in the form of fat contracts to play a game.

That does not mean I support the owners. I went out on strike with Major League Baseball in 1972 and we fought like hell to gain increases in numerous areas through our union, and today baseball’s union is the strongest of all the sports.

Attention NHL owners: negotiation is a give-and-take process, and if we believe everything that we hear right now it’s all take by the owners.

I suspect the owners have plenty of insurance to offset losses, and of course the stadiums that they play in must still be paid for, but again more than likely with insurance policies.

This appears to be the NHL owners trying to bust the NHL players union. More than 1/3 of the players are playing elsewhere now (Europe or Canada). I only hope for everyone’s sake they settle this debacle very, very soon.

Fans don’t like to hear millionaires argue and debate with each other, this has to come to an end quickly or the only teams left will be some of the stronger clubs in Canada, New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Detroit and Chicago.

Hey,maybe that’s not such a bad idea. Could eliminating some of these other teams save the NHL from itself?

3 replies on “McLain: NHL is skating on thin ice with their fans

  • Kurt

    I believe that both sides need to realize that they are only hurting themselves. The owners are hurting themselves by loss of revenue and fan base. The players are hurting themselves because fans cannot identify with someone making astronomical amounts of money to play a game. Compromise is the name of the game. After losing one season, you’d thing they’d have the good sense not to lose another!!

  • Tom

    This article has “Stink” all over it. As a life long Sports fan of Baseball in the “D”, why is this person being quoted. A major embarrassment to a Class Franchise in the Tigers and to the workers who have suffered under his management / mismanagement. I agree the NHL owners started building a casket 5 years ago and maybe just about finished this year. GREED will do that to a person.

  • Otto

    I wish the administrators would keep convicted embezzlers and pension thiefs offline. His name doesnt add value to this otherwise very good source of Detroit sports info and opinion.

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