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No Sympathy for the Devils, Sharks, etc…
Annoying lockout ends, players hit the ice
1/21/13 - By Paul Krill -

Now, the lockout is over, and we can let bygones be bygones.

One thing that really aggravated me during this lockout was listening to players whine on about these so-called meanie owners. Yes, the same owners who make the players millionaires, fly them around on private jets, put them up in five-star hotels and give them $100-a-day meal stipends.

Sorry, players - the owners' biggest mistakes have been being overly generous to you and providing too many hockey player jobs in places like Phoenix, where there is much trouble selling tickets and owners have to take big losses. Nobody wants to hear millionaire 20something hockey players complaining.

All the players' whining had me, a decades-long Sharks fan, contemplating dumping the whole thing. Especially with Don Fehr, of Major League Baseball fame, in charge of the players union. Very hard to like that guy. But I'm still here. I just put aside all the lockout nonsense and tuned in to yesterday's game like the rest of you.

The game sure looked like it was going to be another one of those games where the Sharks cannot will not score. If not for goalie Antti Niemi, the Sharks would trailed 3-0 after the first minute. But he kept the Sharks in it until things got rolling for the Sharks in the second period. I went from figuring - they won't even make the playoffs this year, to thinking - hey, maybe they'll actually win a championship this time.

Of course, it's way too early to tell. But each game is akin to two games, since there are only 48 games as opposed to the usual 82. (Thanks, NHL - for canceling the pre-season games, which cost the same as regular season games but often have to be sold off at a loss when ticket holders can't attend.)

So I'll be in the stands in my usual seats on Thursday and again on Saturday for the afternoon game. I'll just have to agree to disagree with the players and forget about this annoying lockout. With no Sharks games for the past three months, things sure did get boring in the evening- there was not much to watch on TV. But now the Sharks are back and we can focus on goals, saves and hits instead of CBAs and how to divide hockey-related revenues.

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