Maybe I’m just a fan of odd movies and I sometimes see the hockey mess interposed into them. I was watching Titanic and I was at the scene after the ship had struck the iceberg and the president of the cruise line and the ship’s designers are arguing over if and when the boat will sink. (Meanwhile, the boat is steadily sinking into the North Atlantic.) I saw an interesting correlation. The loss of the Winter Classic was the the season hitting the iceberg. We’ve got Fehr and Bettman arguing over the policies and procedures while the season is sinking into oblivion. Now, they’re the only two people in the room that can agree the ship is sinking and make some sort of last minute change to save the doomed season.
We are tired and we are angry. A lot of us either took Hurricane Sandy on the chin or got enough of the hay-maker to have our lives thrown into some form of chaos. In New England, we dodged one massive bullet. It’s probably too much to ask figuring in what could have happened to the house and the family… but I have to ask.
Bettman, the players were willing to take the 50/50 and agree to most of your demands. Had you signed the deal that day and allowed the players to keep the contracts they signed to, you would have come out of this war a limited winner. You would have gotten enough concessions to prove that you had beaten Fehr (no small prize in itself there.), and you would have been able to keep the Winter Classic, and we would have already started playing.
Nope, you chose to pull back the carrot and bloody the players with the stick again. Look where it got us Gary. Krejci thinks you treat him like an animal, most of the Bruins are either playing in Europe or trick-or-treating rather than being able to do their jobs. Look at Thornton. This is a man who has done this for over a dozen years and wants to spend his last few professional years in a club where he knows the fans love him. (Also, in a club where he thought his management appreciated and respected him.) This is what Thorny said the day before you pulled the lights on the Classic.
“I haven’t heard anything good. From what I’ve heard the NHL has refused to meet with us and then is going to go ahead and cancel [the Winter Classic],” said Thornton. “I don’t know if it’s to create leverage. I really don’t have a feel for this. You would think they’d want to get everybody in a room to find a solution for this.“I don’t know if it’s just a PR trick. I don’t know if they’re adamant about shutting down for the season or only having a half-season. I don’t have a feel for it, but either way I don’t like the way things are going.”
So, what do we have to do? What can we as the fans do to help fix this? I want Brad Marchand to sign my ‘BALL OF HATE’ jersey. I want to shake the man’s hand and thank him for playing in Boston. I want to share several years of memories that he played a part in. (Yea, that will be limiting in a fifteen second meet-n-greet.) I’d love Johnny Boychuk to sign my 2011 Stanley Locker Room Hat. He just seems like one of the nicest professional athletes out there and I want to congratulate them both on staying Bruins.
I gave my word though. I signed on for the boycott, and have kept to it. If it comes down to my happiness or my integrity, I will always choose the latter. If the lockout isn’t resolved by December I’ll walk by that store and not get my chance to meet them. That will suck for me. Those two represent some of the better aspects of the team, and I never got to give them my personal thanks for 6-15-11.
Please fix this.