Today is Thanksgiving in Canada and perhaps the only thing hockey fans in the Great White North can be thankful for is the fact that negotiations for a new labor agreement between NHL owners and players are about to resume.
Gary Bettman, Bill Daly and Don and Steve Fehr are expected to meet in New York Wednesday or Thursday in an attempt to find some common ground in CBA talks that have delayed the start of the NHL regular season.
But in the court of public opinion, especially in Canada, the NHLs owners and players already are being found guilty of killing a golden goose that produced 3.3 billion in revenue last season.
For the past several weeks Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner has spent most of his days driving to and from a practice rink in Calgary, where he has been working out with more than a dozen locked-out NHL players, including Capitals teammate Jeff Schultz, Flyers defenseman Braydon Coburn and Flames teammates Jarome Iginla, Alex Tanguay and Miikka Kiprusoff.
Alzner says the intensity of those workouts is really good.
Almost too good, he joked last week during a brief visit back to Washington for a charity event. Its high intensity. Were banging probably a little more than normal.
It is during those drives to and from Calgary that Alzner hears the frustration of hockey fans who have made their opinions heard on sports talk radio.
Every day it seems to get worse, Alzner said. In the beginning there was talk about getting things done. Then it was like, These guys suck. I hate the players. I hate the owners.
Now theyre kind of getting over it. Theyre like, You know what? Who cares? If hockey starts it starts. If it doesnt, whatever.
Everyones looking for new alternatives. Theyre watching junior hockey and theyre watching the American League. You can definitely sense the frustration. We dont like to see any of this stuff happening. Every conversation I have with anybody is about the lockout and its not positive.
People took sides at the beginning, now theyre bitter at both sides.