So, despite all the hopes that had gotten up earlier this week when National Hockey League Players’ Union executive director Donald Fehr proudly but prematurely proclaimed that there may yet be a resolution to the labor impasse, the lockout is still with us.
The lockout now actually seems to have the staying power of M*A*S*H, minus the hijinks of Trapper John and Hawkeye, that is, but presumably with all the same casualties of war:
1) Fan interest? At least to some degree.
2) The careers of dozens, if not hundreds, of NHL players as well as those of countless league and team employees? One has to think.
3) The careers of Fehr and/or league commissioner Gary Bettman in hockey? One has to hope.
4) The long-term potential of a once-great sport? Potentially irreparably damaged to the point of hockey eventually resembling AfterMASH, meaning largely forgotten.
And that’s including tired plotlines and characters that came to annoy more than entertain. It’s all enough to make one look back nostalgically to the time before this latest lockout and to the stories fans were actually looking forward to seeing play out, namely the following: