I don't really follow sports, but I see in this dispute the same result of unionization that I see in so many other venues; the unions start out with good intentions, and then become more and more corrupt and greedy until they destroy their host. Like a parasite that cannot stop feeding, the unions demand far more concession from their host body than can be reasonably afforded; that said, I don't agree with the lockout itself. Cutting off the foot to spite the leg is never a good idea. However, in my eyes it is the constant flow of demands and refusals to negotiate in good faith that causes these disputes. Unions have become everything they accused the bosses of being: corrupt, unfaithful to their roots, and dismissive of the actual effect of their actions on the workers they claim to represent.
I used to go to NHL games regularly and follow the game pretty closely. Then the last labor dispute happened in 04-05, and I lost interest. I suspect hockey is in danger of losing a lot of borderline fans like me this time around as well. Sometimes I wonder what goes through the minds of the parties in these labor disputes, as a lockout seems to be in nobody's interest.
At best, I've only been a casual hockey fan for most of my life. This year I was looking forward to the beginning of the hockey season more than I have in the past, because my favorite team (the St. Louis Blues) had a good year last year and I was hoping to see them do well again. At first I wasn't paying enough attention to notice that the start of the season was in danger. Now I'm disappointed that I haven't been able to follow my team. I get the NHL channel, so I would have been able to get a lot of info and coverage, but it's just going to waste. So the dispute is a bit of a disappointment to me, but not a huge thing.
I am a basketball fan, specifically an NBA fan, so I relate to the hockey lockout in light of the 2011 dispute between NBA labor and NBA ownership.
Much was said that was, fair or not, damaging to the league. In sympathy for the NHL, I hope the lockout in hockey isn't as publically damaging as the NBA lockout was. Though the NBA bounced back, I'm sure the league lost fans as a result of the lockout.
I may not care about hockey, but I do care about labor disputes. My dad belonged to a union all of his life. He used to tell me that the bosses would do whatever they wanted if it were not for unions protecting the workers.
It's interesting to me that the previous post characterizes the NHL as having become more goon-like in recent times. I find that hard to believe. As I understand it, all of the traditionalists like Don Cherry think that the NHL has become sissified because of the influx of so many Europeans who just want to skate rather than playing true, tough, physical hockey.
That said, I don't really care. I live nowhere near the Mecca of hockey. There are a few Western Hockey League teams relatively near to my rural area, but I don't really care a whole bunch about hockey. So the lockout does not really affect me at all and I don't really care if the NHL ever starts up again.
The NHL lockout is not affecting me at all...and I live close to Toronto, the mecca of hockey in Canada. I gave up on the NHL a few years back and the league and what it offers no longer interests me. The league has degraded into a league of overpaid goons - they should team up with the UFC and market themselves both together as the violent sports that they are - the NHL is no longer a showcase of pure hockey anymore. International tournaments and Olympic hockey are much better than anything the NHL passes off as hockey. I don't go to games live anymore, nor do I watch the NHL on TV when they are actually playing. I could care less about the lockout and whether they play at all - ever.