The last time the NHL locked out their players was in 2005; I was ten years old and devastated by the news. Now as a high school senior, the NHL has locked out their players once again.
The league-wide shutdown began on Sept. 16 when the seven-year collective bargaining treaty expired the night before. The NHL and the player’s association worked together back in 2005 but eventually cancelled the season. The seven-year agreement was the only progress made.
The compromise included a salary cap and draft order for the 2006 season. This new lockout is a continuation of the salary cap dispute. So far, the lockout is in its first week. It could last until January like the NBA lockout of last year or totally cancel the 2013 season.
The recent NHL lockout has caused great worry for some students at Leesville. The NHL established the Carolina Hurricanes in 1997 and they have bonded to the area well over the past fifteen years.
Tyler Scheviak, veteran Hurricanes fan and junior, said, “I have loved going to Canes’ games for several years. [The games] were pretty fun and the fans were always positive even though they’ve sucked the past few years. The NHL lockout is going to be bothersome.”
Although Scheviak goes to many Hurricanes games per year, the franchise cancelled the Annual Friesen 5k Fun Run this year. Scheviak has competed in the race since its beginning in 2006. The fun run usually hosts one to two thousand local runners who come out to support the team and raise money for cancer. The absence of this event is one of the many consequences to the NHL lockout.
The Hurricane’s Booster Club provides the team with fundraising efforts each season. In the past, the organization has flourished with support but for the next season, they will be offering free membership for the first time.
The Hurricanes also had a training camp scheduled to start this week. However, the managing staff shut it down forcing the professional hockey players to enter the American Hockey League (minor league for NHL) or train independently. In order to stay in shape, Hurricanes players will show up to local hockey rinks where anyone can play with them.
Zach Cline, Junior Hurricanes hockey player and LRHS senior, thinks many NHL stars will sign with teams in Europe but hopes to see the players attend local stick-and-puck sessions. “This [lockout] will probably last until the end of the year but it won’t stop the season hopefully.”
Cline is one of many hockey enthusiasts at Leesville. “It kinda sucks,” said Cline. “You don’t get to watch them play. It’s like a void is there, like when the NFL lockout happened last year a lot of people got upset.”
Not only students are mad, but also some teachers. Matthew Caggia, teacher, has been a fan of the Hurricanes for many years now.
“I’m mostly disappointed,” said Caggia. “Finally they got their act back together after the last lockout in ‘04-’05. The game is doing really well, the league has been really strong. For them to be squabbling over a small percentage of billions of dollars doesn’t really encourage me too much.”
The most disappointing part of this ordeal is that Caggia will not be able attend Canes’ games with his kids. The lockout has aggravated Caggia because of the NHL owners’ greediness, however he finds positive in all the negative.
“If there is a lockout and they miss th
e whole season that bodes well for the Hurricanes,” said Caggia. “After the last lockout, [the Hurricanes] came back and won the Stanley Cup. If there is a lockout this season, then based on that alone the odds are good that they will win the Stanley Cup again.”