For the last few months in the hockey world, all we've heard is talk of HRR (Hockey Related Revenue), make hole, contract length and things like that. Nobody has really talked about the impact on the fans though.
The fans who in some cases are going through the 3rd work stoppage of their favorite sport in the last 18 years. The fans who given that grew the NHL revenues last year to record numbers over 3 billion dollars. The fact that some fans have stuck around through that is truly a tribute to the incredible loyalty of a die hard hockey fan.
The only context fans are being mentioned in as of late are as a negotiating tool of sorts where the players/owners try to win them over and get them on their side. I'm not sure if the powers at be realize this, but fans are growing tired of the childish bickering between the parties, most recently league officials referring to Donald Fehr as a "suicide bomber" just miles from ground zero. Behavior like that only turns fans away at a quicker rate which as a real niche sport is something the NHL can't afford to have happen. The fans don't care about how revenue is split and other stuff like that, they just want to see the game they love return to action.
Its about time the NHL/NHLPA treat the fans like the respected paying customers that they are, and not a pawn in a pointless chess match that has no end in site.