It took me several years to really back into hockey after the last lockout. It has only been seven years since the last lock out and it looks like we are headed towards another one.
If they really do lock out the players for a third time in 18 years I suspect that is the end of my interest in professional hockey.
I grew up in a house where dinners on Saturday were timed to be eaten between the periods in the game - we ate fast when I was growing up. I lost touch with the NHL over my time at university and living in the UK so it is only in 1992 that I really started to follow the league. I have to admit it was Dan Gawthrop who got me interested in the Canucks again with the arrival of Pavel Bure.
A lost year means all the momentum the Canucks have built up will dissipate and I suspect some years in the wilderness are coming. I lived through the Canucks of the 1970s and 80s when they were the worst team in the NHL, I can not get excited at the idea of a losing team.
Maybe I will start to follow the KHL. In 1994 I had the IHL to follow. I would also have time to properly follow the WHL which is more interesting now that there is a team in Victoria even if I hate their name.
I think it is bullshit that the NHL owners are playing chicken with the players. What the NHL needs is to regroup as a league and focus on where the money is - Canada. The league needs a team in Quebec City, Hamilton and a second team in Toronto and Montreal. You can get these four teams from Phoenix, Carolina, Florida and Tampa Bay.