June 22, 2024

By Rob Mendonsa

(As of Spoke’s deadline, the NHL Players’ Association and the NHL had not reached an agreement.)

T’was the night before puck drop, when all through the arena,
Not a player could be found, not even Pavel Kubina.
The cable bill was paid, and new flat screen bought,
In hopes that hockey brawls soon would be fought.

The commissioner was nestled all snug in his bed,
While visions of union busting danced in his head.
And I in my Leafs jersey had just settled in,
For another regular season with barely a win.

When out of NHL headquarters there arose such a clatter.
No games to be played, not even in Phoenix where games barely matter.
Away to my television I flew like Gilmour,
Turned to Sportsnet and said, “Please say it no more!”

The light from the television illuminated my tears,
As Bob McKenzie confirmed my worst fears.
The owners locked all the doors and turned off the lights,
“Go away fans” they shouted “we care not for your plight”

Owners and players jostled and fought,
While the fans worried for the tickets they’d bought.
“More money,” the owners cried from their private yachts.
If we make any less, no second Ferrari the players thought.

And on and on they fought like brats,
And used the fans as their mats.
“Please, please,” the fans cried, give us back our Saturday night.
But owners and players said to the fans “Go away, this is not your fight.”

No Toronto, No Montreal, No New York or Boston,
No Winnipeg, No Anaheim, No Vancouver or Edmonton.
From the top of the podium Bettman did call,
“Now go away, go away, go away all.”

And as I sat and watched our game die,
My heart broke I cannot lie.
For if they could take away our game,
Then there could truly be no greater shame.

Then in a twinkling it came to my brain.
What can we do that will make them feel pain?
What if we just stop buying their NHL stuff?

That would surely prove we’d had enough.
No jerseys, no coffee cups, no toques or lunch bags,
No beers mugs, no key chains, no ball caps or flags.
To the top of my rooftop I shouted my plan.
No more, no more, no more from this fan!

Then one by one the lights flickered on,
Success, I ran to my door and out to my lawn.
And what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a limo carrying Bettman with a look of fear.

He was all dressed in Armani from head to foot,
And accompanied with eight tiny lawyers to boot.
A cease and desist is what they had for me,
“Stop this foolishness, or you’ll be up a tree.”

And so you may ask, what’s all the fuss?
The owners and players care not for us.
True this may be, but one thing they forget,
If the money stops coming they’ll notice I bet.

And with that…

Bettman sprang to his limo, to his lawyers he whistled,
Then they jumped in their limo and flew like a missile.
But I heard him exclaim as they drove out of sight,
“Maybe by Christmas, you’ll see Hockey Night.