Man, the St. Louis Blues are going all out to win back fans after the lockout:
- The owners ensure fan loyalty and media coverage by announcing they want to dump the team.
- The management ensures fan return after the lockout season by letting popular, productive, but expensive players leave through free agency or through trade. The team suffers, the fans suffer, but the books look slightly better for anyone interested in the team, which will look much worse on the ice and in the standings as a result.
- One of the highly-paid star players doesn’t care enough to get into playing shape before reporting to training camp, showing the fans how much he cares about playing his best hockey.
- The team suspends the player, which means….nothing, really, except he won’t participate in training camp.
- The player files a union grievance for his suspension which, as I understand it, resulted not in a loss of money but merely in a loss of face.
- The captain and and assistant captain of the team openly, publicly, and insubordinately question team coaches and management in their decision to suspend the star player.
Someone said hockey was back this year. This ain’t hockey; this is cheap melodrama, some sort of working man against The Man mythbuilding where the oppressed working man and his allies are all millionaires, and The Man is putting one of their own down for not keeping in shape to do his freaking job. The passions are all misplaced, and we the fans know it.