NHL dispute and loss of hockey; fans don’t seem to care…yet!

English: Stanley Cup Imprimt for the Lockout S...A Postmedia News article in today’s The Gazette  quotes an NRG Research Group and Peak Communicators survey that found that half of those surveyed don’t really care about the possible lengthy loss of hockey due to the current dispute between NHL players and owners.

The results, out Tuesday, showed 52 per cent of those surveyed said it is not important to them whether the NHL and the NHL Players Association reach an agreement so the hockey season can resume.

The survey polled 1,001 individuals drawn from each of Canada’s seven hockey cities.

It will be interesting to see if there is no hockey come spring 2013 if the same results hold true. Unlike the NFL and MLB that have short post seasons, the NHL playoffs (like the NBA) feature 16 teams and four rounds to determine the Stanley Cup winner. It really is like a new season and  runs until June. Many people only start to  get interested in the NHL as the long stretch from Christmas to summer sets in.

If we don’t have what has become a “rite of spring” i.e. NHL playoffs next May perhaps more people will express a sense of loss. But for now I guess the CBC will roll out a Gordon Pinsent film festival for Saturday nights and TSN can have great moments in curling until such time as the two sets of millionaires come to an agreement.

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