Back in September, I was browsing racks of jerseys at the NHL Store in Manhattan with my kids one morning, when a store employee asked if we could use any help. “Thanks but we’re just wandering, checking it all out. I told them we can’t buy anything until the lockout’s over anyway,” I said, and we both just kind of laughed. I was serious though.
I then asked how the lockout, just a few days old at that point, was affecting business so far and the sales associate said that, to his surprise, it had not yet made a difference. But when I asked if he expected that to change as the league’s October start date got closer, when people might normally purchase merchandise to wear to games, for example, he admitted that’s when they might feel the effects of the work stoppage.
The kids and I looked around a bit more and then walked out of there without buying anything, not even a green, mini hockey stick left over from St. Patrick’s Day that was on sale for just a few bucks.
Two months later and with the lockout still going, I’ve yet to buy anything NHL-related and I’m frustrated enough that I won’t go back to giving the league my money right when the ordeal ends.
Recently, the subject of Washington Capitals merchandise came up when discussing Christmas gifts with my wife. We normally get the kids each at least one piece of Caps gear for the holiday. But not this time. The boycott continues. There are plenty of other things to spend the money on without compromising my belief that the NHL is undeserving of our dollars right now.
This is the fourth NHL work stoppage in the last two decades. It’s tough on the fans, who invest time and money in their favorite teams, but there are also bars, restaurants, cab companies, mass transit systems, parking garages, and many other businesses locally and worldwide that lose revenue as a result of it. Employees lose income in some cases and local economies suffer when the owners and players bicker over issues that should have been worked out months ago, at the latest.
The two sides inability to get a deal done has spread the damage far beyond their own pockets and I can think of better places to put my shopping dollars. Even if the lockout ends before the holidays, there won’t be any gifts given by my family that have an NHL tag on them.
- Are you wearing your NHL gear during the lockout? And other thoughts (brookslaichyear.com)
- Molson Coors sees beer consumption slump amid NHL lockout (macleans.ca)
- Take the 30 second NHL lockout poll (brookslaichyear.com)
- Report: NHL Will Push Season Back to Dec. 15 If No Deal Is Reached in Next Seven Days (nesn.com)
- As NHL’s latest lockout lingers on, a basement hockey league goes overseas (brookslaichyear.com)
- NHL Lockout 2012: Gary Bettman suggest 2 week break in talks (sbnation.com)