You know, now that the 113-day NHL lockout is over, I must admit that I might just miss some things about it….
– I will miss the passion of the true hockey fans, who find it hard to believe that billionaires and millionaires will fight over almost anything during these CBA negotiations.
– I will miss the pages and pages written by media guys (including yours truly) who think we could have solved this thing in about 4 minutes, and couldn’t fathom why both sides didn’t see the remedy that’s right in front them.
– I will miss the countless TV news cameramen scrambling in press conferences pushing guys in suits out of the way, not knowing those guys are named Bob Batterman, Murray Edwards, Craig Leipold….If only they knew.
– I will miss standing on the street outside the NHL Office in NYC waiting for the latest info, and getting the best $5 shoe shine I have ever had.
– I will miss Donald Fehr’s press conferences. Not the history lessons of bargaining in hockey, but rather his poise, patience and demeanour with the media. It is a great case study.
– I will miss the spin from both sides. It’s part of the process. And learning to filter the spin is key to being fair.
– I will miss the wonderful world of social media that even made a simple podium (actually a lectern) a Twitter celebrity for 24 Hours… and 16,000 followers.
– I will miss the whole world of Sports media trying to analyze who won and who lost the latest round of negotiations, rather than understanding that labour negotiations aren’t about winning or losing but rather protecting the rights of your constituents.
– I will miss those buzz words “Back-diving,” “Core economic issues,” “Make whole payments,” “Compliance.”
– I will miss all the meetings at the undisclosed locations, knowing full well the undisclosed location is walking distance from my NYC hotel.
– I will miss Nick Kypreos and Doug MacLean going at it every day on HC at Noon as if they are still player and manager.
– I will miss discussing the attributes of a Defined Benefits Pension vs. a Defined Contributions Pension.
– I will miss counting NHL players’ pay periods and games lost like they were as important as the U.S. Government’s “fiscal cliff” issue.
– I will miss those calls from general managers and coaches, asking me …ME… what’s going on. Something wrong with that.
– I will miss those queries from both sides: “Who told you that?” Oh, let me tell you my source! Right.
– I will miss the tantrum thrown by ESPN.com’s Scott Burnside to get the media some room to work in at a New York Hotel. Now known as the “Scott Burnside Auditorium.”
– I will miss Allan Walsh’s Tweets. His total, unabashed loyalty to the NHLPA should be admired. Loyalty, in this day and age, is a lost character trait.
– I will miss Steve Fehr’s holiday sweaters
– I will miss every hockey reporter’s work that begins with “I’m not a lawyer, but…”
– I will miss New Year’s Eve in New York City with 1,564,342 of my closest friends.
– I will miss a great steak at Shula’s Steak House, on an unlimited expense account….What? Really? How much? …Never mind.
– I will miss our time with P.K. Subban. He is as talented as a broadcaster as he is as a player. His candour is refreshing.
– I will miss those loud, rude emails and replies from fans that say they don’t care anymore. No one, who is that passionate gives up on this game.
– I will miss discussing the strengths on Scot Beckenbaugh, as if he was the best general manager or agent this game has ever seen.
– I will miss every media guy who mentioned his latest reply from Bill Daly, who had the courtesy to talk to all of us at every hour of every day since Sept. 15, and we now think we’re on his Christmas card list.
– I will miss worrying about whether or not people will love the game anymore, realizing that we just spent 20 straight hours on the air talking about a potential settlement, because that’s all hockey fans have been talking about since Labour Day!
In the end? What will I really miss about this lock-out?
Just glad it’s over and the NHL is on its way back to 30 arenas across the continent.