The majority of Canadians – 52 percent of them to be specific – who live in the country’s seven NHL markets say it’s not important to them if the league and players reach a new collective-bargaining agreement and the season can begin.
Those findings according to a recent telephone survey by NRG Research Group and Peak Communicators.
So, what do the pollsters conclude?
“The response shows Canadians are less angry about the lockout than one may expect,” said Andrew Enns, president of NRG Research Group. “This is the third lockout in 20 years. Our results would indicate this may be having an effect on the fan base.”
But do the results actually indicate that? Because believe it or not, there exist Canadians that don’t care about hockey whatsoever. (They’re more into curling maybe.)
In fact, the poll says 41 percent of respondents in the seven NHL cities don’t follow hockey. Only 12 percent call themselves hardcore fans, with another 17 percent described as “interested followers” throughout the season. The others only perk up during the playoffs.
It might also be helpful if there was a baseline – say, a poll from the start of the 2004-05 lockout – to compare the findings.
Full disclosure: I’m Canadian and like hockey.