You probably think this article is going to be about Gary Bettman, Bill Daly, and the Fehrs, or some combination thereof. Or about the players and owners. It's not. It's about you.
Yes fans, you. You're lying, now stop it.
This doesn't really go for fans of every franchise, this is a Habs specific thing. It could apply to certain sections of fans of other teams, but not to the extent it does here.
The lies keep flowing through every source I read. "I don't care anymore", "If they cancel any more games, I hope they cancel the full season". "I'll never spend money to watch the Habs again, I can't support these owners/players etc".
Stop lying to yourselves, you'll make this ordeal a whole hell of a lot easier, and you are lying. Almost no fan of the Montreal Canadiens who says any of those above things actually means it. Sure, you're angry, I am too. We can be angry together, but don't fool yourself into thinking you don't care. If you didn't care, you wouldn't still be angry.
And don't pretend that greed among ownership or whining among players is going to stop you from spending money on the Habs, or keep you from being interested in them. It's not true.
There's one thing every Habs fan knows about this team, the team is not the players, the team is not the owner. Those things change, yet we're still fans of this team. Why?
Because this team means more to this city and fans from outside it than just a sports team. Nowhere else in hockey does the feeling of an entire city ebb and flow with the success and failure of their team. The Canadiens are important, they're cultural, they're borderline spiritual for some people. You don't give that up because the NHL and NHLPA are fighting over a few dollars. You get annoyed by it, and when it's over you put up your elbows and wade into the virtual waiting room at the Canadiens official website and hope to get lucky.
This team is special to us, more so than any other NHL team can claim. Toronto is the so-called center of the hockey universe, yet you walk around downtown and the only Leafs gear you see prominently displayed all year is at the Hockey Hall of Fame. Montreal breathes hockey instead of oxygen. The CH is everywhere you look, there's no escaping it.
The Active Stick lamented the feeling on the metro system these days coming home from work doesn't feel like it should, and she's right. While most towns get gloomy in winter until Christmas lights pop up everywhere, Montreal becomes vibrant. In the few hours before a game, there's excitement in the air you can taste.
After a win, everyone in this city is your best friend, and all conflicts that were highlighted during recent elections evaporate in a cloud of euphoria. This is not something you give up because a few games are canceled. This is not something you wish to miss out on for a year because a a couple of dates are missed, this is life.
So stop making promises that only make you look foolish, Habs fans. It doesn't make sense to deprive yourself of something you love because of a labour disagreement. You want to tell me with a straight face that you'll willingly deprive yourself of watching that guy at the top of the page play hockey? You'd only be hurting yourself.