With the NHL season wasting away as players and management are locked into bargaining disputes, three West Shore fans have had enough.
Dave Saunders, Stew Young, Jr. and Jim Gordon all play rec hockey on the West Shore and are all devote NHL fans, Saunders and Gordon specifically the Canucks, while Young is a Colorado Avalanche fan.
The group is calling for a fan strike and is asking fans to show their frustration by refusing to give the NHL any more money until the bickering over money can be laid to rest for good.
“They’re fighting over money right in front of us and yet they forgot about us,” said Young. “We’re the biggest majority that makes up the NHL, the fans. Be nice to see that they respect our opinion and maybe ask us.”
“Sports highlights are garbage right now,” Gordon said, laughing. “Can’t even watch them. … We just want to see the NHL get back to playing but it just doesn’t seem like they’re going anywhere.”
The group said the trickle down effect of the lockout is something the players and management need to pay more attention to. Everybody from the staff at hockey venues, to stores selling merchandise, to pubs that bring in a lot of business during the playoffs or pay-per-view games, suffers.
“This is a tough, tough economy for everybody,” Saunders, a local businessman, said. “We don’t need anything more to affect our economy in a negative fashion. And it’s hurting the little guy, the workers and the small businesses.”
Suggestions are to not buy tickets or pay-per-view games for a while, if and when the season starts. In the meantime they are suggesting fans refrain from buying NHL merchandise.
Fans are encouraged to come up with their own ways to protest the lockout and Facebook and Twitter accounts have started so fans can discuss how to proceed.
January 26, 2013, the unofficial half-way point of the hockey season, is set as the day boycotts should start if hockey hasn’t restarted by then.
“We’re saying let’s come together, tell us how you’re going to make an impact to show the NHL that they can’t do this,” Young said.
The three are also asking to be included in the negotiations between the NHL and NHLPA as representatives of the fans. They have sent registered letters to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr requesting
“It’s our game. And without the fans they simply can’t fight or squabble about money because there is no money to squabble about,” Saunders said. “The most important thing in business is your customer, and they’ve lost touch with that.”
Visit ‘The Fan on Strike’ on Facebook for more information.