The hockey season was supposed to begin last night.
The players and owners are still in disagreement, though, and thus the lockout continues. That means players aren’t playing for the Bruins, the Garden is not open on nights that have been previously booked and tons of season ticket holders have lots of unexpected free time on their hands.
Yet Bruins fans are still remaining loyal to the team despite this lockout. “It is our lot as hockey fans to endure a labor stoppage,” said David, season ticket holder since 2001-2002. “[The] lockout has no impact on my love of the team because the anger is more towards the big picture of the league as a whole,” said Peter Winson, season ticket holder 1998-2001 and 2006-current.
But when you’ve devoted 41 nights a season to going to the Garden to watch the Bruins play hockey, how does this lockout affect you?
“The Bruins play most of their home games on Thursday and Saturday nights. It just means that now I’ll get to watch ‘Parks and Recreation’ on Thursday instead of the next day. And instead of going into the city on Saturdays to eat and drinks, I’ll be trying out newer places closer to home,” added Winson.
“…I’ll read more than I normally do in the winter,” said David.
Some Bruins players have decided to play for other leagues, like Zdeno Chara playing for the Kontinental Hockey League and these games have even begun airing in the US on ESPN 3. However, Bruins fans aren’t flocking to watching them play. “…other pro leagues both in North America and Europe are fine, but the game is not the same in terms of quality and physicality,” said David.
While the local college teams, including national mainstay Boston University and [ed: defending national champion] Boston College are beginning their seasons, Bruins fans aren’t looking to college hockey as a replacement for the Bruins and the NHL. “I’ll only follow that from afar. I didn’t go to any college games during the [2004-2005] lockout and I don’t think I will this time. If anything, I’ll be following the individual players on the Bruins and hope they do well and stay healthy most importantly,” commented Winson.
The financial investment of season tickets is adding to the concern of Bruins fans. “As for money: It’s a moot point for me but there is a lot of anger about this from others. Unlike a lot of other NHL teams, the Bruins didn’t suspend monthly payments for STH [Season Ticket Holders] who financed their tickets,” said Winson.
As of publishing there has been no word on if the lockout stalemate will get any closer to being resolved anytime soon. The good news for Winson is that an all new ‘Parks And Recreation’ will air on October 18th, so he’s got that going for him, which is nice.