It doesn't matter who wins the lockout PR battle. Not according to fans, at least.
It didn't require a focus group to know that NHL fans just want hockey back. When it comes down to it, hockey fans simply don't care whether or not the players are getting screwed under the collective bargaining agreement or they're getting their fair share. It doesn't matter if the owners are poor or if they're raking in the dough.
It doesn't matter that seven years ago, NHL players earned roughly 74 percent of hockey-related revenue, or that their share was cut down to 57 percent in 2005 and now has been proposed down to 50 percent. It doesn't matter that 22 NHL teams really do have the ability to cry poor despite the league's record growth since 2005.
None of it matters. Not to hockey fans. All we want is hockey on the ice. You have to look no further than the last 24 hours to realize that. All the talk about which side is "winning the PR battle" is irrelevant. Fans are on the side of whoever is going to make moves aimed at bringing the game back sooner. Period, end of story.
Monday, when news broke that the NHL had hired a political strategist to help them with their lockout message, the reaction was pretty clear across the board: Stop wasting time.
Go NHL owners!Not really -m.deadspin.com/5951872/inside…— Eric (@kurly99) October 15, 2012
Bullshit artists such as Frank Luntz and NHL owners are made for each other.— Gus Savage (@Gus_Savage) October 16, 2012
Frank luntz stay away from my hockey!— Lisa (@pensgirl84) October 15, 2012
I like how Frank Luntz leaves out the part in his letter where research reveals the fans pretty much loathe Gary Bettman and NHL owners.— Matt Thompson (@matt_is_offside) October 15, 2012
Tuesday, when the NHL made their new CBA proposal, it was pretty clear that they had made some movement off of their original point. Finally, after over a month without a proposal from either side, somebody had moved. Closer to hockey, and it's all thanks to the proposal from the owners. The opinion's pretty strong: Just take the damn deal and get back to playing.
For the love of christ please accpet the deal and end the lockout. #NHL— Gordon Donacik (@hockeylover37) October 16, 2012
Doesn't take much. Just bring back the game and we'll love you forever, guys.