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Build fiscal cliff into next CBA; Protest battle: NHL gear boycott vs. NHL gear toss (THE VENT)

Harrison Mooney
Puck Daddy

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THE VENT is a forum for rants, raves, pleas and laments from hockey fans across the world about the NHL lockout. It runs every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. If you've got a take on the lockout and need to let it out, email us at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com, Subject: The Vent.

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Gabe Zubizarreta believes the key to preventing future lockouts is building a clause into this CBA that cuts ticket prices in half. Effectively, he's arguing hockey build in a fiscal cliff to force meaningful negotiations, because if Congress has taught us anything, it's that this approach totally works:

The next CBA should have an objective and clause aimed at avoiding a work stoppage.

Potentially, there could be a mechanism to get a new CBA completed prior to the expiration of the prior CBA.

Failure to come to a CBA will cause the Fan clause that states:

All salaries will be cut by 50%, ticket prices will be reduced by 50% and both sides shall continue operations until the CBA is resolved.

Voila, there would be a CBA or happy -- very happy -- fans.

Don't be silly. The NHL would never agree to allow their profits to be cut in half just because they can't work out a new CBA. Oh wait.

Mike Sweeney's protest idea: don't wear any NHL gear.

No adult should wear their hockey jersey (do we still call them sweaters?) to any game this season. The jersey represents both the team on the front and the players on the back. Every time the players, owners and television audience looked into the stands and saw fans in every day clothes they would be reminded of the strike and that the loser in all this is the fans. Especially ones paying hard earned money for tickets.

Boycotting games sounds nice but seems impractical to me.

Griffin Doyle's protest idea: throw NHL gear on the ice. This, I could get behind.

My favorite thing about this column is all the ideas for boycotts and protests. None of them are all that practical, but if we were to pull off any of them, it would be amazing. I especially loved the idea of boycotting just the first game. Seeing all of those arenas completely empty would send the right message. But it won't happen. I know I am buying opening night tickets within seconds of hearing the lockout is over. Anyone that is actually still following this ridiculous CBA news each day will do the same. But there has to be something we can do that shows how stupid all of this has been and let them know that we are tired of being taken for granted.

Most hockey fans are familiar with the teddy bear toss. The annual event where thousands of teddy bears being donated to charity are tossed onto the ice after the first goal. Why not use this as inspiration?

Wear old team gear you to the first game. Hats, sweaters, gloves, t-shirt, whatever. Anything you wont miss and could reasonably donate to charity. As many items as you can wear comfortably. When that first puck hits the ice, we toss it all on the ice. Doesn't even have to be NHL gear. Just anything that won't be a danger to everyone on the ice when it starts flying over the glass.

The greed and egos within the NHL and the NHLPA have delayed the hockey season. They aren't willing to get back onto to the ice unless it is under their own terms. So once they finally agree to stop the delays and start playing hockey, why not turn the tables and prevent the owners and players from starting the season?

Sure, it will only delay the game a matter of minutes. But five minutes at each opening game? Perhaps even every game for the first week? That won't go unnoticed. And while the idea to boycott the opening games is next to impossible to pull off, this idea is actually feasible. It won't take 20,000 diehard fans willing to skip opening night. With as few as 500 participants in each arena tossing two or three items onto the ice each, we will have made our statement.

All we want to do is remind both sides that the fans are still angry. Even if you are back to playing, we haven't forgotten and we will won't forget. Where is the make whole provision that brings us back 400 plus missing games?

We want to make sure that the next time these sides negotiate, the fans aren't an afterthought.

Kevin will always be passionate about hockey. His passion for NHL hockey, however, dwindles by the day:

I don't necessarily relate Passion to spending money. I consider myself a diehard who buys the occasional shirt, jersey, hat, and goes to a couple games a year. But I don't do these things to put money in anyone's pocket. I do them to show Passion for MY team and MY game. I basically will not miss a New York Rangers game unless there is a wedding, funeral, or birth...and even then I'm scrambling for a TV.

I am not for players/against owners anymore. I'm well passed that. I understand both sides looking for their best deal. However, smarter men than me are supposed to figure that out before we lose this much. I feel these "smart" men responsible for these crimes against hockey (and not just the lockouts but the future of the NHL) be held accountable.

So, while I type this, waiting impatiently for the World Juniors to begin at the end of the month, I realize that it's not the NHL, but it is hockey. And when I'm watching Notre Dame hockey, I realize it's not the NHL, but it is hockey. And when I coach my U12 Rec league team, I realize it's not the NHL, but it is hockey. I will ALWAYS have hockey in my life. I'm not sure if I will always have the NHL.

This will not make it to the hands and eyes that I believe it needs to. I am not writing this to end the lockout, to feel sympathy, or even vent (wink...) the frustration that has built up over the last 6 months. I am writing this because I feel I need to. I am writing this because of my Passion.

And finally, Paul Anderko believes these should be sold at the NHL store:

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