With hockey's cold shoulder, a meltdown

October 29, 2012 

It’s bad enough that Caniacs are in severe withdrawal, what with the National Hockey League owners having the vapors over the possibility that a deal with the players – you know, the ones who actually play hockey – might cost them a buck or two. Their solution: maybe just call off the season.

Oh, yeah, that makes sense.

Anyway, it won’t be long until people around here start wearing their Carolina Hurricanes sweaters to ACC football games. And then it will be basketball season. Caniacs will sit in a daze, trying to imagine the big green fields are really covered with ice, or that the hardwood courts are rinks. Then there are those who make a living from the Hurricanes. They are truly hurting.

Consider the plight of all the servers in the sports bars both near and far from the PNC arena. Consider the vendors who deliver the goods to the arena. Consider, too, the various community groups that use Hurricanes’ events to put some dollars in their charitable coffers. Those opportunities now will be just gone. And with them the money that could have helped people.

For that matter, there are the multimillions of dollars that go to businesses when visitors from other “hockey towns” (notice we said “other”) come to the Triangle. Those merchants may not see tumbleweed blowing through empty stores, restaurants and hotels, but they’ll feel the difference.

Some games have been called off. There was no opening night at the arena. Owners and players aren’t happy with each other, and though a settlement will be reached eventually, will further delay mean the chance that an entire season will be lost?

So the fans sit, in the living room wearing their sweaters, watching old hockey movies on television or maybe playing a little in the living room with souvenir sticks and balled-up socks. This standoff must be settled, and soon. The cat is getting very confused.

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