Some ‘fan fair’ about NHL lockout

I can’t believe we’re going through another NHL lockout. I don’t think there has ever been a time where the owners and players have been so out of touch with their fans.

I can’t believe we’re going through another NHL lockout. I don’t think there has ever been a time where the owners and players have been so out of touch with their fans.

While things are a bit better here in Canada, in North America as a whole the economy has been crap.

People are losing their homes, struggling to find work and relieved to find a job that pays more than ten bucks an hour.

Do you know how much an NHL player makes an hour? Me neither. But it’s a whole lot more than ten bucks.

Right now the average salary per game is $29,878, so given that a game takes three hours to play counting intermission, you could say they make a minimum wage just shy of ten thousand dollars an hour. Of course, they don’t just put in the three hours we see in the arena…but still.

If minimum wage average Joe wants a great seat it can cost him $300…something he might work 30 hours to afford.

By the same token the average NHL player would have to pay almost $300,000 for a seat just to gain proper empathy for what a fan sacrifices to watch him play.

If you’re a top-paid superstar like Alex Ovechkin who pulls in $109,756 per game or $36,585 ‘per hour’ you would have to shell out well over a million dollars a seat just to get a feel for what it costs to be a fan!

And that doesn’t even include poutine fries and a beer.

I don’t know. Maybe the owners are greedy, maybe the players deserve a bigger slice of the money-oozing hockey pie, but I’m just saying it’s not like anyone — owner or player — is hurting for pocket change. And a lot of their fans are.

Back in the day hockey was something played for love of the game.

Players even had day jobs to support their hockey habit. I can remember reading about one player who moonlighted as a fireman and had to leave in the middle of a playoff game to fight a blaze.

I’m not saying we should return to those helmetless days of yore, but if fans are willing to give up 30 hours of their wages just to watch their hockey heroes play for one evening, maybe the owners and the players can sacrifice a little too.

I keep hearing the players justify their position by saying there wouldn’t be a game without them; how they’re the ones putting themselves out there and risking injuries. No one seems to realize there wouldn’t be a game without the fans. Fans are putting in full days of sweat and injury risks too; but in their case it’s for basic wages. It is the fan’s hard earned dollars that pay for the game played by millionaires.

What would happen if the lockout continues and when things are finally resolved fans refuse to forgive and forget? I know a few hardcore supporters who are vowing to do exactly that. They were willing to overlook the last lockout but having another one happen so soon has left them with the “Fool me once” attitude. Of course once the hockey pucks drop they may weaken their stance. We are Canadian after all.

But, what if the doors finally open…and nobody is there? What if the hockey song plays and the people on the couch yawn and switch channels? Or what if they’re down at the arena playing the game themselves or cheering on a beer league instead? With no one to watch, how long before both owners and players cash in their hard-bartered zillion dollar agreements for a big wad of cold hard diddlysquat?

I just heard they are preparing to head back to the bargaining table. Can you imagine if the owners and players called a press conference and said, “You know what? We’ve been a bunch of knuckleheads. We talked it over and we don’t need any more of your money. We’re already making waaaay too much. We just want to open the arenas and play the game for our fans since they’re the ones who make it all possible. We apologize for losing sight of that. As a small token of our appreciation the first game is on us; including poutine fries and a beer.”

Or better yet, take the 17 percent they’re fighting over and deduct it from the ticket prices for the entire season. And next year’s too.

Shannon McKinnon is a humour columnist from Northern BC. You can catch up on past columns by visiting

Just Posted

Small aircraft short on fuel touches down on Calgary street

CALGARY — A small aircraft carrying six people has made an emergency… Continue reading

How hospitals prepare for mass-casualty incidents like Toronto van attack

TORONTO — Mass-casualty disasters like Monday’s deadly van attack that sent 10… Continue reading

Chinese automaker plans electric car production in SAfrica

BEIJING — A state-owned Chinese automaker announced plans Wednesday to produce electric… Continue reading

International probe shuts down cyberattack provider

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — In a major hit against cybercriminals, an international… Continue reading

Rental agencies struggle with screenings as security concerns rise

Monday’s deadly rental van rampage in Toronto shows how quickly a vehicle… Continue reading

WATCH: Alberta’s revenue shortage concerns Central Albertans

Public Interest Alberta hosted the discussion at Red Deer College on Tuesday

WORLD CUP: Last stand for stars of Spain’s golden generation

MADRID — After recent struggles at major tournaments, the remaining stars of… Continue reading

Maple Leafs, Raptors, TFC create perfect storm of sports buzz in Toronto

TORONTO — The Raptors are hosting, but supporters of the Maple Leafs… Continue reading

Jury to deliberate after Cosby painted as predator, victim

NORRISTOWN, Pa. — Jurors at Bill Cosby’s sexual assault retrial are poised… Continue reading

B.C. researchers get patent to develop potential vaccine for syphilis

VANCOUVER — Researchers at the University of Victoria have been granted a… Continue reading

Mane Event rides into Red Deer

A weekend for the horses comes to Red Deer, as the Westerner… Continue reading

Edmonton retiree robbed of $210K in silver bars police investigating

EDMONTON — Police are hoping that they can provide a silver lining… Continue reading

Cause of plane crash that killed former Alberta premier Jim Prentice to be released

The findings of investigation into the plane crash that killed four set to be released.

MPAA head says theatres will survive rise of streaming sites

LAS VEGAS — Two film industry leaders told theatre owners Tuesday that… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month