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article imageNHL losing fan support as lockout drags on with no CBA in sight

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By Marcus Hondro     Dec 13, 2012 in Sports
As the ongoing NHL lockout continues going on and on it seems more and more NHL fans are getting off the bandwagon. Many say enough is enough, they're tired of hearing of negotiations for a new CBA going nowhere and are done with the NHL.
"They should cancel the NHL and start another league with no union," fan commentator Walter Saxe wrote on a CTV News website. "I love hockey but c'mon, these guys make millions to have fun. The rest of us have regular, boring jobs and live in regular, boring homes. The reason to start a new league is to stick it to the NHL and the owners who also are motivated by greed.This used to be entertaining, now it is merely painful."
NHL and NHLPA: millionaires fighting billionaires
Where are NHL fans getting their hockey fix instead? Kids are continuing to play hockey so Dads and Moms are watching entertaining games, junior leagues are going strong and the AHL is getting renewed attention. Some fans are ignoring hockey altogether and a few are organizing fan groups to warn the NHL that when they get around to playing they may find they've lost some of their support.
The lockout itself is losing its appeal as a subject for NHL hockey fans. The new mantra, or it has been prevalent a week or more now, is that hearing all about millionaires fighting billionaires has long lost its appeal. Initially it was Gary Bettman and the NHL franchise owners getting the lion's share of the blame from NHL hockey fans but of late more, like Saxe, are shooting plenty of blame-pucks at the players as well.
"I seriously hope the league folds," hockeynut33 wrote on the comment section of a TSN story. "I can't believe I'm saying this but I'm on Bettman's side. Let these players find out what it's like making peanuts in the KHL or other leagues compared to what they have/had in the NHL. The owners will still be rich but these spoiled players need to learn a lesson in reality."
NHL fans: lost hope for 2012-13 NHL season
In a recent CBC survey while 26 percent of respondents said they supported the players and only 17 percent supported the owners, 55 percent of respondents of the survey, taken after negotiations blew up in dramatic fashion last week, said they supporter "neither" side. Further, 68 percent said they didn't think there would be a 2012-13 season, with just 11 percent saying they think there will be a season of some kind.
Now we might go into details of where negotiations are, or are not, at this point in time, but the tone of comments on various sites suggest that you no longer care to hear. "Not having NHL hockey is like being free of an addiction for the first time in years," calabrian wrote on CBC Sports. "I like it, and I think I'll stick with it."
The way things are going, or not going, it seems that along with the rest of us, he'll have to.
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