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Merry Christmas from the Montreal Canadiens!

Merry Christmas from the Montreal Canadiens!

Yes, NHL fans have been here before in the midst of a lockout coming into December and the Christmas season. Wes Goldstein wrote this piece in late December, 2004. I thought it appropriate for the current NHL Lockout in December, 2012. Surprisingly, or even sadly not that surprisingly, the poem fits the 2012 lockout just as it did in 2004!

p.s. You might need an eggnog with a stiff shot of bourbon to face this sad wintery tale.

Account of a lockout at Christmas (2004)

By Wes Goldstein | SportsLine.com Staff Writer
[Reposted from CBSSports.com]

Dec. 23, 2004


‘Twas the night before Christmas and there was no NHL
For the fans of the sport, it was a real living hell
The owners and players were in fight to the finish
Unfazed, it seemed, watching their product’s value diminish

It was a long time in coming, this full meltdown on ice
But no surprise at all, neither side ever plays nice
All along the warring parties had only themselves in mind
Making a fair solution impossible to find

So arenas remained dark, the league’s future in doubt
As billionaires and millionaires stood firm, battling for clout
They were given ideas, yet not one did they heed
Of course that’s to be expected from those motivated by greed

Clearly management’s ineptitude created this mess
Without common sense, or restraint on largesse
Now players are being asked to take away that pain
They may fight it forever, but there’s nothing to gain

Nearly half the league’s best are overseas in a pack,
Most playing for a pittance, losing career time they won’t get back
They say they’ll never give in to a salary cap
But if not, they might fall right off the map

The truth is the NHL has so much to change
Even more on the ice than in its salary range
The game must reach out to more fans and to grow
Adding more excitement, would be the best way to go

Offense and flair are what the league now craves
Those kinds of things will earn it raves
A real, true partnership is the road to take
So get with the program Gary and Bob, for everyone’s sake

Make a deal that works, and get the season on track
And hope that the fans never look back
Let them have what they’ve wanted, the game at its best
To see if their favorites can handle the test

Like the Bolts did last year led by Brad and St. Louis
And don’t forget Iginla and his upstarts from Calgary
Give the greats of the game what they deserve, a proper goodbye
Guys like Messier and Stevens and of course, Stevie Y

It can’t be that hard when everyone shares the same goal
To get the game of hockey on a permanent roll
It’s up to both sides now to make the right call
But in the meantime from us, a Merry Christmas to all!