As you may know, the NHL and the Players’ Association have reached a tentative agreement on a new CBA. It looks like your St. Louis Blues will soon return to the ice.
As we prepare for the season opener, I want to apologize to all Blues fans, especially our season ticket holders, suite holders, and sponsors. We share in your disappointment and frustration about the lockout and the lack of Blues hockey over the past three months. As you can imagine, the last thing our new ownership group wanted in our first year was a lockout and no Blues hockey. Everyone in the organization -- the players, hockey management, the front office – would have preferred to start the season on time.
Moving forward, our aim is to make up for lost time and to earn your continued support. As I said last May, we are firmly committed to the Blues and to ensuring the franchise’s long-term success here in St. Louis. With the lockout behind us, we reaffirm that commitment. But we know we cannot succeed without you, and we hope you will continue to support us at this critical time.
As you know, we have an exciting season ahead of us. The Blues, led by GM of the Year Doug Armstrong and Coach of the Year Ken Hitchcock, are coming off one of the best campaigns in franchise history and are widely viewed as one of the top teams in the NHL. The compressed season will be intensely competitive, with each game crucial in the race for the playoffs. We can’t wait to get started, and we sincerely hope you will be there with us.
Once again, I am sorry for the delay in starting the season. Thank you for your patience and support during the last few months. We hope to see you at a Blues game soon.
Well that was nice.........But what are you going to do for me as a fan?
Here is Ken Campbell's insight
• Mandatory public service. Stellick points out that every Monday, rookies in the NFL are contractually obliged to do community service. That would be a great template to extend to every player in the NHL. Everyone from Sidney Crosby to the fourth-line pluggers should be required to get into schools to do fitness programs and contribute to their communities in a meaningful way.
• Offer the NHL’s Center Ice Package free for this season. That would fulfill the dual objective of apologizing and exposing the product and its sponsors to as many people as possible.
• Announce an immediate 10 percent reduction in everything from ticket prices to concessions to replica jerseys and hold a line on those prices through 2013-14. The fact of the matter is the NHL as a whole will do very well this season because it’s going to pay about 50 percent of salaries and get all its playoff revenues and most of its sponsorship and TV money. It will also have cost certainty, something the fans need to have for the next little while.
“They can’t just charge $12 for a beer and nine bucks for half a submarine sandwich and then thank people for being fans,” Stellick said.
• Establish an agreement to go to the Olympics and reestablish a meaningful schedule for the World Cup that would see it played every four years. Bettman himself said hockey has the world’s greatest and most devoted fans. And he’s right. It’s time to reward them by giving them a guarantee of best-on-best hockey every two years.
• Require all players from both the home and visiting teams, regardless of whether their team won or lost the game, to make an on-ice appearance when they are selected as one of the three stars of the game and have them toss league memorabilia into the crowd as they skate around the ice.
• When the opt-out period expires in eight years, don’t opt out regardless of the situation. This will not be an issue for the players, but it will for the league. Guarantee fans of the NHL a full decade of labor peace.
Ken Campbell the senior writer for The Hockey News
Help reignite my love for NHL and Blues Hockey, I hav'nt lost my love of the game yet but don't push it.
Ohhhh and one more thing! Short season or not WIN THE GOD DAMN CUP!