NEW YORK – The NHL Owners ended their lengthy lockout against the NHL Players Association this past week to the delight of nearly no one. The 48-game season will begin Saturday, January 19, and both owners and players have been working hard to spread the news.
“ESPN never talks about us, so hardly anyone knows that hockey is coming back this week,” said Commissioner Gary Bettman. “Everyone associated with the league is putting in the effort by going door-to-door and passing out flyers at grocery stores. You know, cheap stuff. Because we’re certainly running pretty low on cash right now.”
The lockout not only pushed the league further down the American pro sports totem pole, but also fostered much distrust in the league’s authorities amongst hockey fans.
So far, the league has received discouraging reactions to this campaign, the typical ones being mocking laughter and slammed doors. Players are getting many “I thought you were going to be a real pro athlete” responses. Some assumed the league was simply terminated and are surprised to hear that hockey is still trying to be a major American sport.
“This has been so degrading, having to go door-to-door just to try to get people to watch our games,” admitted Rangers defenseman Marc Staal. “I should’ve been an actor like most successful Canadian-Americans.”
“I’ve had to correct everyone that the league is not going away and the Islanders have not yet moved to Brooklyn and we still exist.” said Islanders head coach Jack Capuano. “I saw more baffled faces than I’ve seen wins the past couple of years.”
For the season opener this Saturday, the Islanders will be hosting the Devils, and currently the only tickets sold have been to parents of the little league teams that will play during the first intermission.