Photo sourced from Flickr (GoodSquadSarah)
That the NHL takes its fans for granted—especially its Canadian fans—is no great revelation. This is, after all, a league which has trundled itself to the edge of the abyss on so many different occasions that questioning its sense of purpose has almost become a national past-time in Canada.
But with this season's lockout, they may not realize how close it is to falling into that abyss by biting the hand that feeds it: an engaged fan base.
Consider the ways in which the consumption of professional sport has changed since the last lockout eight years ago. The loss of hockey games is the core effect of this lockout, to be sure, but fan experience has exploded since the loss of the 2004–05 season, and there’s really no denying that the tap which has been shut off this time around is one which is quite a bit different from all other taps previously.