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The NHL Politely Tells Its Fans to Go to Hell

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Breaking News: The NHL has officially removed from the calendar all regular season games through October 24, 2012. This doesn't mean the games can't be played; there's still the chance they can be rescheduled. But if we're honest with ourselves, we know it really means the games are no more.

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You can't watch games, but you can still pay for them.

Essentially, the NHL wiped clean most of the October calendar with a swift flick of the wrist, much like one would a whiteboard after a note was read and no longer needed. That’s about how I feel right now: no longer needed by the NHL. There are all these articles out about how the owners don’t have to worry about losing revenue during the lockout and how the players will survive the loss of income. But I don’t really care about that. I care about the fact I’m losing the opportunity to watch a young team in the formative stages of becoming a contender. But that's not going to happen for a while. The Avs' first possible game would take place October 25 against the St. Louis Blues. In St. Louis. Three home games are lost, including Opening Night.

Oh, sure, it’s only six actual Avs games. There’s still hope that the season will resume soon. Not too long ago, I believed in that hope. When asked this summer, I said, "They’ll get ‘er done before the regular season starts." Once preseason was canceled, it was, "December 1st. I’d bet on it." Now? That feeling in the pit of my stomach is telling me there is a danger of losing the whole season, especially since nobody is working on a solution or a compromise. "Negotiate? What’s that?" is what you can hear just under the deathly silence coming from the board rooms of the NHL and NHLPA right now.

Now don’t get me wrong. I have no inside info saying that’s what is going to happen. All I have is a sickening feeling deep down that the love of my life is going to betray me, that these little indiscretions aren’t isolated events but actual harbingers of things to come. Six games will turn into 12 games that will turn into 24 games that will become 82 games before too long. Oh look. It's actually 82 games already. That's the total number of games across the NHL that have been nixed. Harbinger.

I hope I’m wrong. I hope they figure it out. I hope I get to see our new captain leading his team to new heights. I hope.

But the reality is there’s less Red in this situation and more Brooks.