The NHL lockout is only hours old but one thing is certain, if it continues for any length of time neither the league nor the players will be the big losers. The people who will really take a hit are those who own small peripheral businesses.
Take a walk around Montreal (I am sure this is true of all NHL cities) on a home game night and you will see bars, restaurants, parking lots, souvenir sellers and even the odd ticket scalper all providing services to hockey fans attending the game. These are the people who can least afford to have games cancelled while millionaires on both sides scrap it out.
This is only a simple economic view, the ultimate losers are hockey fans. Will they return if and when a settlement is worked out? Of course, that’s why they’re called fans.