I saw this instead of a meaningless pre-season game
A week from tonight should have been the Predators home opener against the St. Louis Blues in a critical game as this year's version of the Preds had the best shot of winning the division title in franchise history.
I'm still a believer in the Preds potential this season (if there is one) as I placed bets on the Preds to win the Western Conference as well as the Stanley Cup when I was at Harvey's Casino in Lake Tahoe earlier this week. Granted, I was playing with house money that I collected on a wager from last season when I bet on Pekka Rinne to have the most NHL wins for the year.
What I'm not a believer in is spending a moment worrying about missing hockey due to the incredibly ridiculous "lockout" with the first two weeks of the season having already been written off.
Screw everyone involved in the process.
One of the most respected writers in the business, and president of the PHWA, Kevin Allen, laid it out simply for all parties as to where it will inevitably end up at a 50/50 split of "hockey related revenue."
At this point, both sides are posturing for the best outcome for their sides. Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr are to be commended for their efforts for the parties that they represent.
However, they should be condemned for what they are doing to the fans and the workers who depend on games being played in order to put food on the table for their families.
I personally am losing income, based on web page hit count, because I refuse to put up a post every day about nonsense about negotiations and things that don't matter for a season that never was (so far).
Will I be all excited and ready to write daily updates about the Predators when, and if there is a new CBA and hockey returns? At this point, I really don't know.
I have had plenty to keep me occupied in the last couple of weeks during what should have been the preseason when I could have been talking to Austin Watson or many of the other Pred's prospects about their first real shot at the NHL during training camp.
I have traveled to Crater Lake and the Oregon coast, spent the night at Point Arena Lighthouse, and went to Napa Valley and Lake Tahoe. In my travels, I didn't meet one person who gave a flying flip about the NHL or the lockout, and I didn't either.
Last night, I came completely unglued over the horrible call on the "infield fly" ruling in the Atlanta Braves wild-card game with the Cardinals. Was I missing NHL hockey? Not at all. I was emotionally tied to my former favorite sports franchise, the Braves.
Tonight, I'm trying to absorb four college football games that I normally would have ignored if hockey was staring next week. Am I thinking about hockey? Not at all other than realizing that I don't miss it while I tie in to other things.
The NHL and the NHLPA should be concerned when a writer who has committed forty to fifty hours a week to their cause in exchange for minimal income finds other ways to pass time.
Therefore, I don't want to hear about negotiations on non-financial points or anything else that desperate hockey writers want to post as news until there is something real to discuss..
When an agreement is signed on the dotted line, wake me up and see if I care.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass