At midnight the NHL owners triggered a lock out of the players as a result of lack of a new collective bargaining agreement. The owners blame the players, the players blame the owners. The rest is silence. The NHL fans will go through their third player lockout since 94, their second in just seven years.
What is hair pulling about this lock out, it sort of just happened. No last minute effort to save the season, no midnight sessions to protect the league from another work stoppage. They sort of met, disagreed and left. The fans were left in the cold.
The collective response of the NHL fans is more of a "Get your stuff together, NHL."
It didn't take long for some players to land new homes. A slew of players have been assigned to the AHL while others are ready to sign their contracts to the KHL. What should be the early selection process for young guys making NHL squads in training camp will now be silent. No hockey, no training, nothing.
The owners are betting on another let down by the players and the players have stood their ground. Which means good bye 2012-2013 season (most likely). The NHL lost the casual fan tonight and as every day passes with no hockey they will lose more. If the season fails, I predict the NHL will have more than just a good PR to get fans back in line.
For the moment this is just frustrating and disheartening. The longer it drags on, the more the NHL just becomes a memory.