This week marks the beginning of at least two weeks of canceled professional hockey games due to a league-wide lockout–much to the surprise of American sports fans, who were not aware that hockey season would have started by now. On the other hand, America’s neighbor to the north has entered a collective state of mourning.
American response to the lockout seems to be characterized by shocked sports fan Bob Laderman of Chicago. “Wait. Hockey is still a thing? Like, a league and everything? Does Chicago have a team?” said Laderman. “Baseball is in playoff mode. The NFL is in full swing. The NBA is running its preseason. Frankly, I hadn’t realized that anything was missing. Hell, there’s Major League Soccer and NASCAR on TV right now, and those aren’t even real sports.”
Meanwhile, the lockout is already having an impact on Canada’s economy. The nation’s GDP is down 20%, as jersey purchases and beer sales have plummeted. In a show of support, the nation has established a “Player Support Fund” to pay the salaries of their locked-out players; it is anticipated that, in order to cover the costs for a full year, Canada may disband its universal healthcare system and sell British Columbia to the United States. Prime Minister Stephen Harper said the move was “what was best for both hockey and our great nation.” Members of Canada’s Parliament are also considering allowing Mitt Romney to buy out their stance on gay marriage, a move which would raise an estimated 50 million dollars (or 200 million twidinkles, the unit of currency in Canada).
Hockey players do seem to have the support of their brethren from other sports in America, however. NBA superstar LeBron James said, “Those hockey dudes should be able to get a fair deal. All these owners making billions of dollars and keeping it all for themselves, when players have to get by on just millions? That ain’t right, man. And if the owners don’t pay up, they should all bring their talents down to South Beach. I’m part owner of the team here, and I’ll pay them right.” When reporters noted that Miami does not currently have a hockey team, James replied, “Oh. What team do I own then?”
With the first two weeks having been canceled, there are only 50 weeks left in the season for NHL Commissioner Gary “Work Stoppages Are Kinda My Thing” Bettman to work out a deal with the players’ union. If a deal cannot be reached, many players have expressed a willingness to play in Europe, where they will be a part of at least the fourth-most recognized sport on the continent, after soccer, drinking, and not bathing.