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08-23-2012, 04:39 PM
  #63
predseth
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Join Date: Jul 2011
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Yes, the 30 governers have a significant say, but Bettman has by far the most power. His email address is gbettman@nhl.com. I wrote an email, and I encourage all of you to do the same.

Mr. Bettman,

While I have been a fan of yours from the onset of my following of the Nashville Predators and the support you showed our team during the gut-wrenching summer of 2007, I had to bring up my concerns with the current negotiations between the league and the NHLPA. In short, a lockout of the 2012-2013 season would be nothing short of disastrous for your game. While it is true that the league came back better than ever from the lockout of the 04-05 season, there will not be a similar return of fans should there be another. In this age where information is spread at light-speed through a multitude of avenues, it will be difficult to conceal the driving force for a lockout this year: greed. In 2004, the game was broken. Clutch, grab, trap, no salary cap, no trapezoid, no two-line passes, etc. The 04-05 lockout was a necessary evil for the greater good of the game. The evil still had its consequences. While I wasn't as aware of the league as a whole at the time, I can tell you its effect on the Nashville market. The momentum gained from making the playoffs the season before ceased. Ticket prices plummeted to 1998 levels. Worst of all, the casual fans' attentions shifted. The Titans, SEC football, and even High School sports took over the news from the Preds. Fortunately, the fans did eventually return as a result of the improvements made. The game was better; every team had a chance to win on any given night as a result of the new salary cap structure. The season is truly year-around now; players battle on the ice from September to June and front offices over the phones in-between. The game is in a great place now, and there is no "greater good" to hang your hat on. Should you continue to bicker over percentage points and inevitably "win" by forcing the players into a deal that undervalues their contribution to the sport, you will gain a disproportional number of empty seats. Hardcore fans will still be there and some kids will still choose to spend their birthdays at their local arena, but you will lose what has made the biggest difference. Our recent financial improvement in Nashville has been due in large part to hockey's equivalent of evangelists: PASSIONATE people who take PRIDE in spreading the word about hockey to co-workers, fellow students, and complete strangers. Mr. Bettman, if you and the 30 owners you represent decide to take the low road and fight solely for your bottom line, it will come at a steep price. In 2004, you fixed the game and have since grown up alongside an infant network (the only one that would take you in). Don't make this about the money; Fans are fans until they aren't.

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