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A cautionary holiday lockout tale: 'How The Greed Stole Hockey!'

Nicholas J. Cotsonika
Yahoo Sports

(Note from Saint Nick: With apologies to Dr. Seuss. Don't take this too seriously!)

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Every Fan

Down in Fan-ville

Liked Hockey a lot …

But the Greed,

Who lived just south of Fan-ville,

Did NOT!

The Greed hated Hockey! The whole Hockey season!

Now, please don't ask why. No one quite knows the reason.

It could be his game was baseball or basketball.

It could be, perhaps, that he was jealous of football.

But I think that the most likely reason of all

May have been that he thought his wallet was too small.

But,

Whatever the reason,

The sport or no shame,

He sat there in September, hating just the same,

Clutching his brandy with an evil, Greedy sneer

As the Fans toasted the new season with cold beer.

For he knew every Fan up in Fan-ville above

Cared not for the business, only puck love.

"And there will be training camp!" he yelled with a racket.

"All will have hope! Even the Jackets!"

[Puck Daddy original holiday poem: 'Gary Bettman, Commissioner of Christmas']

Then he growled, while his butler got his Bentley running,

"I MUST find some way to stop Hockey from coming!"

For,

As soon as the puck dropped, he knew …

All the Fans with great glee

Would turn on TVs. They'd rush to the rinks!

And he'd hear that "Gangnam Style" song everyone sings!

Oh, the Noise! Noise! Noise! Noise!

That's one thing he hated! The NOISE! NOISE! NOISE! NOISE!

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And THEN

They'd do something

He liked least of all!

Every Fan up in Fan-ville, of the Canucks to the 'Hawks,

Would gather in great flocks, the floor to the ceiling.

They’d stand side-by-side. And the Fans would start cheering!

They'd cheer! And they'd cheer!

AND they'd CHEER! CHEER! CHEER! CHEER!

And the more the Greed thought of this Fan-cheering-thing,

The more the Greed thought, "I'd rather hear 'Cha-ching!'

"These fools don't follow important things like the Dow.

"They follow the standings and guys like that Gordie …

"Uhh … Howe?"

Then he got an idea!

A new idea!

THE GREED

GOT A NEW, OLD IDEA!

"I know just what to do!" The Greed said like a snoot.

"I'll have a lockout! And I'll file lawsuits!"

And he laughed and he snorted, "Won't that be funny?

"Somehow, I figure, I'll make even more money!"

* * * * *

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THEN

He canceled training camps

And the first weeks of the sked

And the Winter Classic and more.

Each time, a kick in the head.

The owners and players, he'd make them fight …

Fight so long, few would care who was right.

"What's this about?" The Fans once wanted to know.

Is it revenue sharing or HRR?

Or contract rights? Or escrow?

"What's this about?" The Fans didn't bother anymore.

Disclaimer of interest? Decertification?

Everyone is bored. We need a vacation.

After months of pointing fingers and trading proposals,

The sides came to New York, the biggest star at their disposal.

The Greed seemed in trouble, for who could it be?

Not Cindy-Lou Who – but Sidney Crosby!

But even with the help of his owners and agent,

Crosby could not keep it from blowing a gasket.

He went back to Pittsburgh asked the big question: "Why?

"Why aren't they even talking now? Why?"

[Watch: Brilliant holiday lockout mash-up video]

But, you know, that old Greed was so smart and so slick

He thought up a lie, and he thought it up quick!

"Why, we aren't close at all!" the evil Greed lied.

"When you hear that we're close, that's only one side.

"So there's nothing to talk about. We'll go to the brink.

"Maybe we'll cancel the season, or someone will blink."

And as if the Fans needed more reason to hate,

That dastardly old Greed would not give a drop-dead date.

Forget the openers. The Fans wanted closure.

It was all they could do to keep their composure.

And the one speck of hope

That was left in the league

Was a glimmer even too dim for Milbury.

* * * * *

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It was now halfway into the season …

Eighty-two games, impossible,

Fifty-six, too,

When the Greed looked at the schedule.

"Down to 48? Woo-hoo!"

So much crossed out! No banner in L.A.!

No new arrivals to tout! No Nash, no Suter, no Parise!

"Pooh-pooh to the Fans!" the Greed greedily hummed.

"How do they feel that Hockey has not come?

"It's finally sinking in! I know just what they'll do!

"Their mouths will hang open for a minute or two

"Then the Fans down in Fan-ville will all cry BOO-HOO!"

"That's a noise," grinned the Greed,

"That I simply MUST hear!"

So he paused. And the Greed put his hand to his ear.

And he did hear a sound rising over the snow.

It started in low. Then it started to grow …

But the sound wasn't sad!

Why, this sound sounded merry!

It couldn't be so!

But it WAS merry! VERY!

He stared up at Fan-ville!

The Greed popped his eyes!

Then he shook!

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What he saw was a shocking surprise!

The Fans up in Fan-ville, of the Canucks to the 'Hawks,

Were cheering! Right out of their socks!

Oh, there was emotion over the lockout, no doubt.

But you know what? The NHL isn't all it's about!

Some Fans cheered for junior and college, the other levels of Hockey, all.

Other Fans just cheered for – gulp! – baseball and basketball and football.

Then the Greed thought of something he should have before.

"Maybe," he thought, "they cheer first and then spend.

"Maybe, perhaps, they'll just spend elsewhere instead!"

And what happened then … ?

Well … in Fan-ville they say

That the Greed's feeble brain

Finally got it that day!

And as soon as he realized how to really grow his wallet,

He dropped the lawsuits, and he lifted the lockout.

And he brought back Hockey! And he sold lots of beers!

And he …

… HE HIMSELF … !

The Greed led the cheers!