NHL fans get the shaft again

Just when the NHL may finally be getting interesting for this season, broadcasters seem particularly uninterested in fans.

Just when the NHL may finally be getting interesting for this season, broadcasters (and, of course, the NHL itself) seem particularly uninterested in fans.

Last night two Canadian teams, one trying to get into the playoffs, one hoping to slip into a home-ice advantage role, played what by any measure would be an interesting game.

If you wanted to watch that game, and it is safe to assume many did, it was available on pay per view in the affected markets, Winnipeg and Montreal, and perhaps to those with expensive hockey packages, but not to the average fan who has been mostly disinterested since being shunned during the NHL/NHLPA bickering over how to apportion their (the fans) hard-earned cash.

This on top of the news that tickets to playoff games for those fans will be from 35 to 100 per cent more costly than already expensive regular season entrance fees.

Remember when the, “work stoppage, ended? Remember how Bettman and the players’ mouthpieces vowed to, “make it up to,” the fans?

Yeah, right!

People get to do what they want. It is just strange that what they want is to be ignored, belittled and ripped off by a watered down pro game when all around them are exciting and entertaining teams and leagues that actually do cater to their supporters.

For the price of one mediocre seat at a first round Toronto playoff game, a local hockey nut could get a season pass for any of the local junior teams. That holds true for every junior market in the country that isn’t the semi-pro CHL. For the price of an after market ticket, the local teams would provide two or three such season passes, or even a family pass.

Those passes, which give hockey fans a look at young talent before it morphs into stultifying grind and pound pro-format sameness, are on sale right now – just for the record.

Just for a year, I wish fans would try that route and let the very rich folks, most of whom know as much about hockey as they do Swahili (and care even less) fill their own overpriced seats and eat and drink their own overpriced, “refreshments,” and wear their own overpriced gear.

Probably not going to happen, I know. The trouble is, in an age where something isn’t considered important unless it is on TV (and even though the Winnipeg/Montreal game last night was in only limited release) the live entertainment provided locally somehow never seems worthwhile to many.

And, lest we forget, the supposedly, “free,” broadcasts still cost ordinary fans boatloads of cash. If that wasn’t ponied up, either in cable fees or tax dollars, those broadcasts wouldn’t exist.

Time to stop paying ignorant people for providing an insulting product. Nobody buys Ladas and Corvairs anymore, do they?

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