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Lost games a win for NHL, fans

Shane Doan has been traded. Effective this week, Captain Coyote is no longer a shirt and tie-wearing member of the suits. Since the NHL Lockout is now over, that puts Captain Coyote back among the fashionable crowd wearing sweaters (his designer logo happens to be the letter “C”).

“From being in the room quite a bit, there was a sense this was the best deal available,” Doan said in New York. “It’s always tough because we’re all fans of the game and we wish we didn’t have to go through this. But we did, and we’re on the other side now.”

Indeed, Doan trades one set of teammates for another. And, compared to attorneys, NHL players have almost as much money, just fewer teeth.

“I’m hoping that our fans understand this was something that had to be done for the strength of the league, for the strength of the Players Association,” Flyers owner Ed Snider told The Associated Press. “I hope they don’t hold it against us and just come out and see some great hockey.”

Whoa, hang on. This is where Paulie Puck has to step in with a question: Dearest NHL, hold it against you? Fans should be thanking you.

For all fans beyond the vulcanized die-hards, the NHL season doesn’t really start until January anyway. October, November and December hockey (yawn) barely moves the meter, usually lost amidst the feeding frenzy of the football season.

In other words, if you live for the intensity of playoff hockey, well, guess what? An ultra-compressed 48-game season means every game matters (translation: no so-called ‘off-nights’ where players essentially decide to give themselves the night off).

Now, did local businesses in the 623 area code (“Wessst Siiiiide”) lose hockey-related revenue during the labor dispute? No question. And that’s a shame. What’s not a scam… err, shame… is that fans now save big dollars (BIG, BIG $$) on season tickets (no preseason hockey right?!) #Ding. Once again, it’s thanks again to the NHL for the third work stoppage in Commissioner Gary Bettman’s tenure.

So, back to Doaner’s wardrobe, we’re thinking that when he goes to the office now, he can accessorize that sweater with other things that lawyers don’t wear (for the most part) – blood, sweat, tinfoil, bite marks, stitches…