After the NHL’s second lengthy lockout in seven years and third consecutive failed stab at getting a deal done before they had to start cancelling games, many are wondering what impact this latest stoppage is going to have on the hockey fanbase. Since the announcement of the new CBA, every interview I’ve done — either formal or informal — has included some form of the question “Will there be a backlash?”
Maybe, but I doubt it. Outspoken as fans have been, locked-out NHL fans are not unlike crying babies. Put a boob in their mouth — in this case, that boob is hockey — and they’ll be quietly suckling in no time. It’s been my estimation all the way along that the fans will just continue on as they were, as though the lockout was little more than Zack Morris calling a time out and freezing everyone in place. The moment he says “Time in,” everybody just picks up where the left off, a little confused and nothing more.
Canuck fans especially. I would like to submit the following as evidence:
“Hey, we’re back? Great! Okay, where were we? Right. TRADE LUONGO.”
That’s a sign from outside the Wheelhouse Neighbourhood Pub in Surrey. It went up Monday. Again, that’s the day after the announcement of the new CBA. Seriously, it’s like we were all just in cryostasis chambers or something.
The sign, which is still up, is the work of Wheelhouse employee Hamzah Gurung. According to Gurung, most of the feedback from the sign has been positive, except for one older gentlemen who felt it was “kind of unprofessional”.
To that I’d say: Relax, older gentleman. I can think of a major local newspaper that made ‘Trade Luongo” their official editorial position just last year.
And then I’d say: Actually, nevermind, that sort of supports your point.
Stick-tap to Vishi Sood.