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Gary Bettman gets WWE smackdown; sick of player salaries (THE VENT)

Greg Wyshynski
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.

In case you were wondering about the level of fan angst over the NHL lockout and Commissioner Gary Bettman, someone went through the trouble of putting together a 4-minute angle using a WWE video game in which Bettman receives a beat down from Canadian wrestling superstar Christian.

And it ends with a car attack … but who was the driver?

For the record, we don't believe Gary Bettman resembles The Kurgan from "Highlander" as he does in this video. (And, obviously, we also don't endorse violent threats against Bettman, Fehr or anyone involved in the lockout; this, we feel, falls into the realm of absurd satire.)

Via reader Robin Pearson:

This last lockout has been and will be a complete PR disaster for the NHL and every stakeholder in the NHL.

When this lockout finally ends and we see skates on the ice again, drastic measures will have to take place to even begin the healing process between the NHL and it's fans.

I see a very simple first step that would hurry up the healing process.

Whenever hockey begins again, every single player should donate their first paycheck (and each owner should match the total for their team) to compensate those who have been hurt most by this debacle.

I'm talking about all of those who have lost wages and work due to this lockout.  Vendors, stadium employees, bar owners, etc.  Get one of those smart ass accountants to determine how much money has been lost to these people and determine a fair and equal way to pay them all back.

Seems fair to me and also a great way for the NHL to repair all the damage that's been done.

An interesting thought, but good luck convincing the players that they're the ones that have to pay to make amends.

[Also: Are there positives for Columbus in All-Star Game cancellation?]

Tim Sims is not a fan of Troy Brouwer's recent comments about outspoken players:

Troy Brouwer is a GOD damn clown.

You want to talk about overpaid. Here is a guy who averages under a half a point per game for his career and who will make $3.6 M a year from 2013 to 2016. How much is enough for these role player guys?

I honestly feel bad for the stars of the game. They are allowing third and fourth line guys to bleed their careers, in the sake of NHLPA unity. The unity is [crap]. I go to games to see Malkin, not Troy Brouwer. It actually make me sick looking at some of the salaries of 3rd and 4th line guys. Too bad most Super Stars have 8th grade educations, because all it takes is one guy to step forward like a Crosby and say what he really feels; that he is the big ticket show (love or hate him) and that a lot of guys are piggy backing and along for the ride. But it won't happen because he will have a target on him by every player in the league.

The NHL fails to protect its Super Stars time and again, which ultimately is why these marginal guys are fighting for a bigger cash grab and have a stranglehold on the direction of the union.

Is the lockout about the stars? Should it be more about the stars?

Via reader Zach Braden, some lockout wear:

Picked this up at a local screenprinting shop here in Pittsburgh. Had to share. I realize that this lockout is a very complex issue, lotta ins, lotta outs.

Unfortunately, they were out of Fehr is..., Jacobs is..., Leonsis is...

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Finally, reader Suz may be young, but she's as passionate about the game as they come:

I'm a sixteen year old girl from Pittsburgh. Now, I know what you're thinking - she just thinks the players are cute (I do), she doesn't know the rules of the game, she's just a bandwagon Pittsburgh fan because of Crosby - but I like to think of myself as educated on the issues.

And in being educated on this current lockout, I am pissed off.

Now, first of all, I work at a store downtown. And yes, we get a lot of business from game days. When there's a Steelers game, the store and the street outside are flooded with people wearing Polamalu and Roethlisberger jerseys. I haven't gotten a chance to see any mass Crosby or Malkin jerseys yet. I do know that every time there's a cancelled game, there's money that the store I work at (and the others around it) are losing. And that's not fair.

The lockout, at this point, isn't just affecting the owners and the players, or even the workers inside the arena - it's affecting businesses near the rink too. And I'm sure you've heard this all before, but I want a turn to vent.

Today was Black Friday. And I, being a sixteen year old girl, went shopping. One stop I made was on my way home from work, to the Consol Energy Center PensGear. I wanted a player shirt (Matt Niskanen). The cashier said a funny thing as I paid and walked out - "we really appreciate you coming out and being here." I don't think they got much business, even on Black Friday. Not that many fans came to the sale (and it was a good one). And I think that's because a lot of fans are finally getting fed up.

I'll admit, if the NHL started the season now, I would go to the games. I would not be (and am not currently) boycotting them.  But if a whole season is cancelled, I don't think I would want to go. And I think the NHL should be scared that even 16 year olds are starting to realize how dumb this whole thing and are starting to hate the league they once loved.

Lastly, even though I like to think of myself as educated about the lockout, I probably am not. There's a lot about money that I don't understand. But I think I do understand the fact that the owners are losing more money during this lockout than they would gain by having it. This doesn't make me pro-NHLPA. At this point, quite honestly, I really don't like either of them.

I think the League has done a lot of things wrong, but NHL players (are they still NHL players?) name calling and retweeting Gary Bettman death wishes sure isn't helping anything. Until these two sides mature, I can see many fans who will stop giving the league/the players their money. And while they aren't, the NHL should be scared by this. They should be scared of losing fans, because quite frankly, they don't have that many to start with.

This was a little all over the place, but I hope I've gotten my point across.

Once more, with feeling: "I think the NHL should be scared that even 16 year olds are starting to realize how dumb this whole thing and are starting to hate the league they once loved."

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