I've been a Preds fan since 2008, soon after I moved to Nashville. I hadn't followed hockey in a long time and was easily hooked when I actually had my own team to root for. It's just interesting that all of a sudden, the entire sport at the NHL level is just plain gone. I'm a huge college basketball and football fan too, in addtion to the NFL, so really, I have plenty of sports to keep me busy and occupied, especially at this time of year.
I'm not sure "missing it" is the right word. Its kind of like the season just hasn't started. I guess I kind of miss it, but if it never came back, I would be fine. To me, its just been replaced with other things. And, I have more money in my pocket too in addtiion to time to do other things. Trying to keep up with 3 games a week takes a lot of time and dedication. I find it comical that I'm still getting emails to buy Preds gear....even though at this point in time, the Predators really don't exist. It really shows that all of these "sports" that we love and are fanatical about are just ways to make money for other people (a business) and ways that we choose to entertain ourselves throughout life. We're not really part of the team and don't have any say-so with the team, even though we like to think otherwise. I've never really went through this with a sport that I follow and it really puts things into perspective.
A friend of mine posted a wonderful comment on Facebook, saying that the Hostess Twinkie labor dispute has made twice as much news than the NHL labor dispute. If these buffoons let it go longer, this entire League will just disappear.
I've already said my hope is the Preds jump from the NHL to a rebel league.
There is no other league that would place a team in Nashville, TN. Maybe the AHL, I suppose.
The fact is, this lockout is happening is to keep franchises like Nashville from turning into the Kansas City Royals. Or the Hamilton Preds. Make no mistake, the PA/Fehr wants nothing more than to turn the NHL into the MLB.
When the NHLPA complains about franchises being in the wrong locations, having a say in where franchises are located, etc, etc - who do you think they are talking about. It's us. It's Phoenix. It's Carolina. It's Cbus, Florida, Anaheim, etc.
I don't care if it takes 2 years, I want an NHL where a franchise in Nashville can be competitive based on on ice and management decisions, and an NHL where crap like the Flyers pulled on us last July can't be done.
I miss hockey, but I've found other things to do. Been watching alot of Grizzlies lately. I'll be back when the puck drops, lower bowl, opening night.
Agree on EVERYTHING, RaiderDoug. While I've been disappointed with some of the leadership manuevers by Mr. Bettman, if it weren't for him, I really doubt there would still be a hockey team occupying the arena on 501 Broadway in Nashville, TN.
The sport won't vanish. The NHL or part of it might. Part of the AHL will survive. The ECHL will remain nearly the same.
I guess I should re-title my post to "When the NHL disappears..." I'm not a lifelong hockey diehard like many of you are. I didn't play as a kid although I had every opportunity and now wished I would have. Anyway, I'm a diehard Preds fan...but I don't need to nor will I go watch the minors to get my fix. If there's no NHL, the sport is pretty much gone for me. If I don't have a team, then the sport isn't going to matter to me anymore.