Call me shocked. Call me amazed. Call me hideously jaded.
After an all-nighter of negotiating, it appears that a tentative collective bargaining agreement has been made between the NHL and NHLPA. Both Gary Bettmand and Donald Fehr stood in front of cameras and reporters, looking more than a little bleary eyed, to make their announcement.
Mind you, Congress was able to come to an agreement about a "fiscal cliff" sooner than these guys were able to put a new CBA together.
What might have been unnoticed in the joy of having actual hockey played is the fact that there is still much work to be done. It is a framework, not a final document.
However, progress is progress. The jaded part comes from my belief that they could have come to this conclusion months ago and avoided all this ugliness and unpleasantness.
Personally, I am refusing to spend a single penny on hockey games, concession or parking for the same amount of time the NHL was locked out and not playing. Will it affect either side or matter to them? No. Will it matter to me? Absolutely.
For the record, that is a minimum of 113 days.
The key person in all this is mediator Scot Beckenbaugh, who should get hazard pay and a special award and commendation for persevering with two very bitter parties intent on never agreeing with one another. That Beckenbaugh was able to facilitate common ground is miraculous and a tribute to his abilities as a mediator.
What is left to be known is when will training camps starts, how many games will be played and when will they begin and how will the Ducks handle Teemu Selanne's final game when it is all over? (Assuming he decides that this is it.)
I am still trying to get that bitter taste out of my mouth, made even more distasteful because I am not the casual fan. I have invested heart, soul, time and money (and even more time when I spent 3 1/2 years in the pressbox and at every practice.) The latest return on my "investment" has left me, a diehard, less than impressed.
What has it done to the less devoted hockey afficionado?