Perhaps not everyone north of the border is altogether enamoured with the return of hockey. Some Canadian fans will surely refuse to forgive the league and the players for the absurd, avaricious four-month disruption to their puck fix. But I suppose we rejoice. Hockey's back. With a brand-new season. Sweet -- and short.
If you loved hockey before, there's no reason why you won't love watching the same sport again. But taking the lockout personally is the result of viewing your relationship to the game in unhealthy terms. Those who claim to take revenge on beloved hockey by ignoring it are in effect prolonging the lockout out of spite, and I suspect this crowd will tune in soon, their misplaced pride notwithstanding.
As I'm sure you all know by now, a tentative deal has been reached between the players and the owners of the NHL. For most of the world, this means absolutely nothing. I find the NHL more and more irrelevant every time it returns from another one of these temper-tantrums. As a recovered NHL addict, I can't help but wonder why we want to put so much energy and passion, offer so much devotion and piety, to a league that has done this to its fans four times in the past 20 years. Why do both the league brass and the players' union continue to overestimate Canada's passion for the NHL?
I know the NHL is really happy with itself right now, and I can't stand for that. The Lockout may be ending -- pending approval and some seriously important paperwork -- but the NHL still has to answer for the past few months, and the years before that. The league betrayed its product and millions of its own fans.