Observations about the potential NHL lockout

Jonathan Cramer

For the second time in eight years, there may not be a NHL season.

The National Hockey League, considered one of the four elite professional sports leagues in the country along with the NFL, NBA and MLB, is on the brink of yet another player lockout.

In a sports landscape suddenly ripe with collective bargaining troubles, the NHL is the only league that has recent precedent for losing a substantial number of games.

The NBA encountered a lockout this past season, but each team still played a 66-game schedule ­­— only 16 less than a full year after a deal was struck. The NFL dealt with a lockout of its own last summer but only lost one game in total, the preseason Hall of Fame game.

Hockey, on the other hand, locked out for the entire 2004-05 season.

Another missed season could be devastating to the sport. But the question is, would the loss of hockey be felt by the student body here at the University of Texas? The first place to look for students who would be affected is the UT hockey team.

“I would care a lot,” said Chintan Prakash, a biology junior from Houston who recently joined the team as a winger.

Prakash, who lived in Montreal for six years of his childhood, watches “a lot of hockey; 90 percent of [the Montreal Canadiens] games.”

An NHL lockout would hurt him. But how many other students would be as perturbed as Prakash if there were no hockey this year?

Jonathan Espinoza, a journalism sophomore from Long Island, N.Y., says although he’ll occasionally watch the New York Rangers play, he is “not invested” in following the NHL. Espinoza admits that he “didn’t know until right now” that there was an impending lockout in the NHL.