Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012 -
The winter cold is taking its time establishing itself through the winds of our December, but its bitter grip does not cease to be felt through the hearts of hockey fans all over North America.
Well into its third month, the 2012 NHL lockout has never been more bleak and silent than it is today. The negotiating tables lie vacant of League and Union officials. Like the presence of ghosts, the rooms that once housed the stern voices of collective bargaining are only a memory on the walls. Instead of regaining traction where it matters, the dichotomy has transposed to the hopeless cortex of a court room.
Litigation is about to wrap its inescapable palm around the impeccant soul of the National Hockey League, and like helpless children, fanatics stand on the boundaries with their voices continuing to be unheard or even cared about. We shout our anger and heartbreak into the black nothingness until we become numb. Our eyes gloss over, our passion morphs into an empty shell. And as Christmas grows closer, there's nothing we want more than to see a settlement made, and the sounds of skate blades carving action through our home ice again.
Maybe each of us has made a trip back to our Club's barn for another venue? As we take our seats, our attention is drawn to the banners hanging above our heads. On these banners are Players who once battled like gladiators for the love of hockey. For the love of hearing a goal horn. For the love of feeling the crowd's cheers flow through them like an ocean's surf.
If even for a split second, we're brought back in time.
Dark clouds of reality roll in and absorb our welcomed retrospection in an instant. All over again, a sea of sadness carpets across our furious enthusiasm, flooding any promise that the League and Players' Union could sheath their not-so-subtle egos, and rectify the seemingly irreversible damage they've done to their diehard congregation.
Christmas list? What Christmas list? I don't need more socks, more shirts, more belts. I don't want that new iPhone, a better television, or even a video game. Don't even think about getting me a fresh Flyers sweater, a bobble-head, or sweatshirt.
It just isn't the same. My Holiday grin couldn't be more fraudulent, for I know behind it is a decimated hockey junkie who can't get his fix.
There's that song -- Silent Night. It's never been more silent. That silence will be broken by the sound of a judge's gavel striking mahogany, and the two parties responsible for misery will continue forgetting about what matters most....
Check out The Pack on Facebook!
You can follow Michael DeNicola on Twitter: @MikeyD_OandBP
Contact The Pack here...