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Rep Offers Views on Lockout


*All opinions of this article are my own and do not reflect those of Medaille College or its personnel

I said I wasn’t going to do it. From the very beginning, I didn’t want to jump into the debate over the NHL/NHLPA labor issues. I’ve been following its progress or lack thereof and am left amazed. We are less than a week out from the old CBA expiring and there has been virtually no progress made. Yes there have been proposals from both the NHL and the NHLPA, but nothing that’s holding any water. And while I still don’t want to get in the middle of it and start pointing fingers, I still have my two cents.
So some of you may be wondering, why now, why did you wait so long to say something? But most of you probably don’t care. But I’ll tell you anyways. I recently watched a highly recommended YouTube video entitled “NHL-‘Together We Can’ No Lockout”. After taking it all in, all I can say is kudos to the person who put it together. It was a real eye opener with its clear message that we need to stand up and do something to save our season.
Now you might have noticed, I used the term “our”. That’s something that many sports fans get criticized for. People criticize when we say “our team” or “we lost a tough one”, because they think we have no ties to the team. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth. It is as much of who we are as our name. So I chose to use the words “our” and “we”, because this is our sport and we can and should do our part. It’s so much more than just a game to so many. It’s a get away from the stresses of everyday life, but more importantly, it’s a way of life. The sense of community and oneness that comes with being a fan and watching the game with friends or someone who took the seat next to you, is what makes it such an important part of our lives.
And now that is being threatened as ongoing negotiations make it more evident that the unthinkable is looming over this season. A potential lockout rooted in the highly popularized “millionaires vs billionaires” debate. And while it is true, concessions and changes by both parties may be necessary, it is unfathomable to think that some type of agreement can’t or won’t be made in order to save our season.
And although this potential lockout causes me and many other fans much discontent, I still don’t find myself able to expressly point a finger at one side. All I know is that the two sides (NHL and NHLPA) both have their arguments and want the best deal they can get. But if they can’t find some common ground and do it fast, they will both be standing on the same side, looking unto the millions of fans they have let down.
But as I said earlier, we the fans have a responsibility here. We have a voice, and I think, unanimously, it says “Don’t lock us out.”

-Mike Repertorio

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