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Posted - 09/26/2004 :  13:13:42  Show Profile
Contributed by: Raphael Borenstein

Still think they are going to get a deal done and salvage the season? You probably have a better chance of winning the lottery and getting struck by lightening on your way to claim your prize. Paris Hilton probably has a better chance of getting a Nobel Prize. You get the picture….

I could rant and rave about the league’s need for a cap, the union’s need to oust their boss to get a deal done, or the idiotic things that the NHLPA is saying and to a certain extent, actually believing! Don’t expect the owners to cave in. They may have helped create the problem, but they have a solution and will stand fast until the players get it. On the flip side, don’t expect the players or their boss to realize it anytime soon.

Sure we lose out on watching our favorite sport, but think of all the local businesses that count on NHL hockey to bring in revenue . Parking lots, bars, souvenirs, etc…There are people that work at the arenas and for the teams that will lose work. I guess it could be worse for us, but that doesn’t make us resent not having hockey any less.

But amidst all this, there is a silver lining. This lockout is a great opportunity to support our various junior, college, or minor league teams. These teams usually offer competitive, exciting hockey in small venue buildings at a price where you could get a great seat for less then what it would cost for parking, a beer and a bag of peanuts at an NHL game.

Here is somewhat of a complete list of alternative choices for hockey. Don’t let the NHL and NHLPA hold your hockey enjoyment for ransom. Get out and enjoy some really great hockey, and support the programs that haven’t forsaken the fans while rectifying their own personal problems.

Professional Leagues
AHL-American Hockey League (28 teams across the US and Canada)
ECHL-(31 teams mostly on the East coast, 10 western teams)
CHL-Central Hockey League (17 teams mostly in Texas and Southeast)
UHL-United Hockey League (12 teams in the East/Midwest)

Junior Hockey (Major Junior and Tier 1 Junior A)
OHL-Ontario Hockey League (20 teams in Eastern Canada )
QMJHL-Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (16 teams in Eastern Canada)
WHL-Western Hockey League (20 teams in Western Canada)
NAHL-North American Hockey League (21 teams in the US)
USHL-United States Hockey League (12 teams in the US)

College Hockey
NCAA Div I (58 teams across the country)
Canadian InterUniversity (23 teams across Canada)

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