A GROUP OF hockey-loving Ottawa lawyers wants NHL season ticket holders everywhere to team up to muscle the league and players back onto the ice. To join the Season Ticketholders Association, fans pledge to withdraw their season ticket money and not renew their tickets until there's hockey -- and ante up $50.
"Our estimate is there are 345,000 season ticket holders who account for $880 million," said lawyer Fred Seller, who once defended Alexei Yashin against angry fans.
"If this group will come together, how could the players' association and NHL ignore us? Without the season ticket holders, there is no NHL."
The new group will pressure the two sides to keep bargaining until they save the season and give fans a voice.
The group won't be ignored if they can recruit one-quarter of season ticket holders, Seller said.
Seller came up with the idea as he watched the two sides fail to negotiate -- instead of watching hockey -- then drafted Howard Yegendorf and Trina Fraser at BrazeauSeller.
Seller has done some legal stickhandling before. He twice represented Yashin, both during arbitration between the league and players association and defending a class-action suit launched by Sens season ticket holders.
Day One Sens fan Steve Monuk, who owns and manages bars in the Byward Market, isn't convinced. He's the kind of fan who's followed his team to every NHL city, but says a compromise won't save the game he loves.
"The fans are too divided -- some are on the players' side, some are on the owners' side," he said.
"If they negotiate and settle in the middle, I'll still be paying $165 a ticket. I don't want a compromise."
Visit www.seasonticketholders.org for more information.