Chicago Blackhawks fan Steven Schucker has given up hockey for the 2013 season, according to a story in the Chicago Tribune.
Yes, this form of protest is because of the lockout. And yes, it’s despite the fact the Chicago Blackhawks are on a historical run to begin the season, going undefeated in regulation through the first 24 games.
“You have an NHL commissioner who doesn’t care about his sport and it got to the point it just turned me off hockey,” Schucker told the Chicago Tribune on Thursday.
“I can’t support watching a sport run by someone like that. I love the Hawks. My issue is with the principle of what’s going on with the sport. It would be easy for me to drop my gloves and say, ‘OK, I’ll go back and watch.’ But I’m a man who believes in standing by my principle, tough as it is to do this year.”
The lockout clearly had fans outraged, however it seems most have forgiven those involved with the work stoppage.
As per the NHL’s public relations department, attendance is on the rise, as are television ratings.
The Blackhawks’ current run – they came into Friday’s game against the Colorado Avalanche needing just five games short of the all-time record of 35 games without a regulation loss, held by the 1979-80 Philadelphia Flyers – has only helped drive television ratings.
“I picked the wrong year not to watch the Hawks,” Schucker told the Tribune.
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.