When Baseball went on strike in '95 it took YEARS before it came back fully. And the World Series still gets low ratings. It takes time. So EVERYONE RELAX.Hockey is too bad ass to die! Period.
People are already starting to come around to it. And it's not that Gary Bettman's doing a damn thing for it, you can thank Itech, Jofa, and any of a number of equipment companies that have been putting out low priced quality equipment to get the good folks on the ice for the first time.
Wait 5 years and see if we're all still holding our breaths. 5 years ago I had almost forgotten about hockey. And Now I'm a FREAK. I play every Sunday, I do one on one coaching sessions with tyhe Rink Manager. I watch it whenever it's on. I own a veritable library of hockey knowledge, and DVDs. The lower priced equipment is what got me on the ice for the first time 4 years ago. The game I could never afford to play since I was a little kid so fascinated by this strange little game. I was on the ice at the tender age of 25 for the first time. Oh believe me I was sucking it up big time, but I had a giant smile on my face. And there are thousands of people just like me out there. Jofa and Itech's economic prices have been helping them get out there and loving it for the first time. Some of them are twice the age I was and playing (unbelievably) worse than I did. It's breeding familiarity with a fantastic sport. And putting new players and new fans out there every day.
If you want hockey to live and thrive share it with your friends. Break it down if you have to. My friends did it for me, because I was so rusty on the rules. I get sick and tired of hearing how the sport is dying when I KNOW for a damn fact that the USA hockey Association is admitting three to five thousand NEW members every year!
We're building up to something great. Don't let tv ratings fool you. Who watches the Finals alone, if they don't have to? No one. That's who. The Finals are like Oktoberfest and New Years all wrapped up together.
This next year is gonna be better than last year. And the year after that will be bigger again. There are cities all over this country that are putting something unique out there. But we gotta share it, with those that don't get it right away. Gotta be patient with those that don't realize how great it is. We've been so defensive for so long we forgot to share the pure exhileration of the game with others.