I was just thinking about the last time the NHL season was cancelled due to labour disputes, and for some reason it feels to me as though it were different last time.
I just can't seem to recall why that was.
I seem to recall last time thinking that the Leaf's were being put-upon by the league and that my team really just wanted to get back to playing. I feel like, during the last one, we fans were the unfortunate losers but that the people running the show actually felt bad for us or something.
That may or may not have actually been the case, but I just seem to recall feeling very differently back then than I do now.
This round feels different. This time it feels as though nobody cares about the fans while the players and owners fight it out. I feel as though we fans are just irrelevant fodder and everyone thinks our money will just flow back in when they want or need it to. I feel completely taken for granted this time, and don't remember feeling this way the last time around.
When the last lockout happened, the Leafs and Senators played up their rivalry, and gave something back to the fans, by staging AHL games between their farm teams in their NHL arenas. It was the St. John's Leafs vs. the Binghamton Senators. I went to both of them, at the ACC and travelling to the Corel Center (at the time) in Ottawa. They were some of the most exciting hockey games I've ever been to.
This time around, I haven't heard about any such events. Not that it matters. If they had them, I honestly wouldn't be the least bit interested. I just don't care anymore, and I don't expect I'm the only one that feels this way.