What should the NHL do for the fans?

Since it is clear to this writer that the NHL is banking on a full return by the fans, what should the league and its players do to win us back to the game they took from us last season? Anything? Is the rule changes enough for us? Or do they need to bend over backwards to accomidate the people who make the game work?In my ever so humble opinion, the NHL should do everything in their power to give the fans a reason to come watch overpaid players play our game. It isn’t enough to fix the game that wasn’t really unfriendly to fans in the first place. Above all else, I think the number one priority, if only for this season, should be a vast reduction in ticket prices…for all seats.

Why? The owners are getting what they want from the players anyway, so why not give back to the fans for fueling their payrolls? And we deserve it frankly, for all the loyalty through the years that they took, and still take, for granted. They seem to think they don’t need us, or if they do, they don’t really say much to appease our palets. We get screwed all the way around, and they laugh their way to the bank. But the majority of fans will tell you they are just happy to get the game back to their local arena, and that’s enough for them. And you know what? They are banking on that, too.

Sure, we are going to get a more streamlined game back. And sure, the NHL will make it appear like they are going the extra mile to thank us for enduring moranic stupidity on both fronts. But if JQ Public just sits back and let’s them get away with it, that’s all they’ll do. Make it appear like they are slapping us on the back for our interest in “their game.” They will do some community things, and of course let us not forget the cap, which should make it a more even playing field. But don’t you think that they should at least let us watch our “heroes” at a reasonable price?

Maybe a $10 for everyone night, or a $40 front row section 20-game pack. Something better than a 10% reduction which is being floated around in places like New York and here in Raleigh. Maybe something more drastic. I’m not saying owners should cripple their ability to field a strong contending team. And maybe I’m really not voicing the fans’ wishes. Maybe it’s just my version of compensation for a lost season that never had to be. I really hope I’m not the only one who is still a little frustrated with the league and its players. Believe me, I’ll be the first one in line for opening night here in Raleigh. I love the game too much to just stop going. But I still feel strongly that they owe us something more than a bone.

I hope I’m not alone in this belief. I really don’t. Because they did take away our game for financial reasons. A game, people. Yes, I know it’s a business. No profit, no game I suppose. But c’mon guys. Let’s not let them get away with it with a kiss and a promise.