NHL lockout 2012: Hockey fans fed up with ongoing labor strife

Question of the Day

What has been the biggest debacle on Obama's watch?

View results

Sitting in a hockey locker room, Steve Chase became the latest die-hard fan fed up with the NHL lockout.

Living in Los Angeles, Chase believed the league had squandered all the goodwill built in the area after the Kings won the Stanley Cup. His weekly pickup games with friends became his only taste of the sport he loved because of the ongoing labor strife that has dragged on for months.

So he took a poll of his buddies, then took a pledge:

“We’re not coming back.”

Not for good. Just not after the lockout is settled, not for a while.

Chase started the grass roots “Just Drop It” campaign that encourages fans to boycott one NHL game for every game canceled after Dec. 21st. No tickets, no TV, no merchandise — not a minute or a penny spent on the league, punishment for what he believed are continued abuses of loyalty on their fan base.

He made a video and started a Facebook page, urging fans to click the “like” button and join the cause. More than 11,000 angry fans have joined since the weekend, a puck drop in the circle compared to the millions of fans who attend games, but the latest small sign fans won’t again be easily won back.

“People are trying to crush the NHL,” Chase said. “That’s not our goal. Our goal is just to get hockey back. Hopefully somebody, somewhere cares about this and decides, ‘Guys, we’ve got to get back and talk.’ The fans are right.

“They’re fighting over our money.”

The days of letter writing and 30-second phone calls to sports radio stations have ballooned to steady streams of hashtags, Facebook posts and homemade videos from fans who just want to come in from the cold of this labor battle and watch their slapshots and saves. They are exasperated over a work stoppage with no end in sight and little regard for the fans.

Penguins captain Sidney Crosby understood why fans are upset over the third lockout in Commissioner Gary Bettman’s 20-year tenure.

“I don’t blame anyone for being frustrated with this process,” Crosby said. “Everyone’s got to be frustrated with the way this has gone. It’s pretty easy for everyone involved to feel that way.”

Kind of like they sing in a song about union executive director Donald Fehr’s old sport, some fans vow it’s one, two, three lockouts and they’re out.

“I wouldn’t blame them if they did that by any stretch,” Penguins forward Craig Adams said, “but I can’t predict that.”

It’s actually pretty easy to call this shot.

Story Continues →

View Entire Story

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
Get Adobe Flash player
You Might Also Like
  • Nathan Walker waits to take the ice during the Capitals' development camp at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington on Monday, July 9, 2012. (Ryan M.L. Young/The Washington Times)

    Nathan Walker’s NHL dreams send him around the world

  • Washington Nationals' Anthony Rendon, third from left, smiles as he warms up with his teammates who were were wearing t-shirts in support of him for the All Star game before an interleague baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles at Nationals Park, Tuesday, July 8, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    Anthony Rendon not an All-Star, but he’s been Nats’ MVP

  • Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter speaks during a media availability in the dugout before an interleague baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park, Monday, July 7, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    LOVERRO: Suck-up Buck Showalter needs history lesson

  • Argentina's Maxi Rodriguez, left, celebrates with goalkeeper Sergio Romero after scoring the decisive goal during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. Argentina beat the Netherlands 4-2 in a penalty shootout to reach the World Cup final. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

    Argentina beats Dutch in shootout to reach World Cup final

  • Washington Redskins safety Tanard Jackson speaks during a media availability after an NFL football training camp practice at Redskins Park, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012 in Ashburn, Va. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    Tanard Jackson suspended indefinitely by NFL — again

  • Celebrities In The News
  • Hall of Fame Inductees, KISS, Paul Stanley, Peter Criss, Gene Simmons, and Ace Frehley speak at the 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Thursday, April, 10, 2014 in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

    KISS rocker Gene Simmons touts 1 percent life: ‘It’s fantastic’

  • This image from video released by Funny Or Die shows President Obama, left, with actor-comedian Zach Galifianakis during an appearance on "Between Two Ferns," the digital short with a laser focus on reaching people aged 18 to 34. The president urged young people to sign up for the new health care plan through an appearance posted Tuesday, March 11, 2014, on the comic website Funny or Die, bypassing TV talk show titans like Jimmy Fallon or Jimmy Kimmel for an online audience. (AP Photo/Funny Or Die)

    Obama’s ‘Ferns’ interview gets Emmy nod

  • ** FILE ** In this Nov. 12, 2013, file photo, actor Alec Baldwin leaves court in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

    Alec Baldwin in talks to play Rob Ford-like mayor in new NBC drama