b freemanContributor IJanuary 15, 2010

MONTREAL - JANUARY 23:  Glen Healy of the NHLPA looks on during the NHLPA press conference during the 2009 NHL All-Star weekend at the Queen Elizbeth Fairmont Hotel on January 23, 2009 in Montreal, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Throughout the years this hockey fan has watched the best and worst of a league that in my opinion finds itself consistently and rapidly losing it's relevance to a largely uninterested U.S. fan-base.  The reason for this: the blatant disregard for the NHL's most important partner we the fans!  As we sat back and watched in horror as yet another season was lost due to the constant and consistent squabbling between the NHLPA and The NHL's board of governors it both intrigued and bothered me that a very vital part of the picture was not only not consulted but, was plainly ignored in a conversation to decide who would gain temporary power in their long time pissing contest!  In what would appear to be a two-sided battle what was not recognized by these parties was that the most important part of professional hockey was us!  As fans we stand by our teams with a ferocity rarely seen in civilized societies while we plaster our walls, car windows and facades with our favorite teams placards and proudly display our loyalties while willing to pontificate on the finer points of our teams staff whether that be coaches players or in some cases equipment managers!  We spend our spare and disposable cash while attending over priced games while wearing over priced jerseys and hats while paying exuberant prices for hockey packages on cable and satellite TV just to get a glimpse of the players and games we have become so fond of.  My question as of late is for what?  Where we consulted during any of the contractual disputes?  Where we asked our thoughts as to who was right and deserved more leverage when the new contract was drafted?  Were we even a thought when the league decided to go with versus as the official channel of the NHL?  Obviously the answer is no!  MY next question my fan-base brethren is why weren't we?  In percentage we make up the LARGE majority of what we call the NHL!  We are not only the wheels that that vehicle rides on we are the engine and the fuel that propels this machine forward however slowly it has been moving lately!  Without us my friends the NHL would wither like a cut flower in an easy-bake oven.  We provide the revenue, the interest and the reason for even its existence do we not?  As ticket prices soared and the die-hard fan was pushed aside for corporate interest were we asked our opinion?  As far as I can tell the NHL is comprised of three parts not two these parts being; the players, the owners/management and the most important and vital part US...the fans! IT is high time that the other two thirds of this pie begins to realize that without us they are NOTHING!  There would be no NHL if WE did not supply the interest!  The last thing I would propose though is something silly like a fan strike as in reality it would only serve to hurt us by missing the sport we have so endeared.  However what I do propose is that we unite as an entity and bind together to form an NHLFB (NHL Fan Base) society and through a united front we make known our concern and "beef" with the utter mismanagement of our beloved league!  Write your team GM's and Presidents.  Email the league and NHL-PA to make known our obvious importance!  I am not suggesting some sort of revolt instead I am proposing that we simply turn the light on over the millions of us who make the NHL a possibility!  Perhaps through a united grassroots effort we can prevent what appears to be another looming work stoppage and a further push into obscurity for a league whose only publicity lately seems to negative.  As the most important part can we continue to remain silent and stand idly by as our league moves closer to self destruction?  Let's get involved people!  Do us all a favor and send an email to your favorite team or the NHL front office...let's keep this thing going!   Thank-you for your time and consideration and please make your presence known....perhaps it was just an oversight that we were left out in the last CBA (collective bargaining agreement) as collectively WE ARE THE NHL!!!