SUN Hockey Pool

NHL taking fans and their money for granted

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman smiles during a press conference in New York, N.Y., Oct. 24, 2012....

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman smiles during a press conference in New York, N.Y., Oct. 24, 2012. (ANDREW KELLY/Reuters)

PAUL FRIESEN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:12 PM ET

WINNIPEG - Here's something to ponder as we face the first month of winter without the NHL.

How would you feel if a thug apologized for lifting your wallet, at the same time he was casing your car with a plan to break into it later on?

That's basically what the megalomaniacs running the NHL are doing when they blather on about projected revenue growth of the game over the next several years.

Where do you think a good chunk of that revenue growth is going to come from?

Rising ticket prices, of course.

Already overcharging for their product in many markets ($100 for a regular season game in Winnipeg -- are you kidding me?), the owners have regular price increases built into their business plans.

So while one hand's on your bank account, the other is holding your emotions hostage with a lockout.

There's something fundamentally wrong with this picture, and it's only allowed to exist if fans continue to view the business of hockey in a romantic light.

It's time to get in the trenches with them and hit them where it hurts.

Boycott the first game, don't buy souvenirs, avoid the concession booth -- take your pick.

Just imagine if any other business treated you this way, and act accordingly.

Most establishments have to earn your business.

This one takes it for granted.

MEA CULPA

Kevin Glenn or Drew Tate?

The debate over who should quarterback the Stampeders going into the CFL playoffs is raging in Calgary.

That Glenn is even in the conversation with an up-and-coming star like Tate wouldn't have seemed feasible back in his days as a Blue Bomber, certainly not in this space.

Glenn's a good quarterback, not just a quarterback who had one good year in 2007.

It's high time to admit I was wrong about the man and his abilities.

But I have an excuse: I'm just a sportswriter.

What's Professor Mike Kelly's excuse?

Kelly discarded Glenn like a crumpled up napkin found at the bottom of Brendan Taman's filing cabinet, and the Bombers have had pivotal envy ever since.

I'm not saying Glenn would have led the Bombers to the Promised Land.

But he might have helped them avoid punishment in hell, also known as the basement of the CFL East.

CAN'T WIN FOR LOSING

All that losing, and the Bombers still might not get the first pick in the CFL draft.

If Winnipeg finishes tied with the Ticats, Hamilton will pick first because the Bombers won the season series between the two.

FINDS OR FLUKES?

Running back Chad Simpson and receiver Chris Matthews are the only Bombers worthy of the team's Most Outstanding Player nod in yet another season gone wrong.

That both are first-year finds is either a glowing example of GM Joe Mack's scouting network, or a condemnation of his work at most every other position over the last three years, including quarterback.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

THE LAST WORD

I see the Polish Prince, Joe Poplawski, will make the closing remarks at a post-game ceremony marking the last game at the Ruins at Polo Park, Saturday.

Wonder if Joe Pop, who was on the Bomber board at the time, will take a few minutes to explain/defend his endorsement of Mack as the new GM, three years ago?

RUSSIAN KANE

The NHL player benefiting most from being locked out?

How about Evander Kane, whose start to the season would have made him the target of much derision — if it had happened here.

Playing in Russia's KHL, Kane has already been called out by his coach for being out of shape, thrown out of a game for a head shot and generally began the season looking nothing like a $5 million-plus player, with one point in his first eight games.

Imagine if he'd had that start with the Jets?

It would have made last season's social media Kane-ing seem blissfully uneventful, by comparison.


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