It's not hockey...

Haven't hockey fans suffered enough? We got locked out of our beloved sport for a year so that the owners could get "cost certainty" (and even higher payrolls than before). Our sport is tough to find on TV (and when we do find it, we often have to endure Pierre McGuire). In a shameless bid to milk the fans even more, all teams were given new jerseys last season, many of which seemed to be designed by color blind meth addicts. We're barely covered by ESPN and not covered at all in many media markets. That we put up with all of this is a testament to how great the game itself is. But we do have a breaking point.

Up in Canada, the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) is playing hardball over licensing rights with the composer of the iconic Hockey Night in Canada Theme.

For many Canadians, the stirring "dunt-da-DUNT-da-dunt" that has opened each broadcast of Hockey Night since 1968 is pure Canadiana -- as deeply woven into the national fabric as Tim Hortons and the great game itself.

I bet more American hockey fans are familiar with the theme than they are with Tim Hortons (a huge coffee/donut chain in Canada that's been expanding into the US). The theme is a song that every Canadian hockey fan grows up listening to (and even some American hockey fans like myself), in the same way that the song "Heavy Action" is a part of the culture down here. (That would be the Monday Night Football Theme).

Like everything else in the world (and especially everything else associated with the NHL), this boils down to money. Two parties who are making boatloads of dough because of the song want to make even more. I think this will work out in the end (public outcry forced the CBC to open up the purse strings and bring Ron MacLean back a couple of years ago), but it's still sad that such an important part of hockey culture can be held ransom like this.

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