Instead of moaning and groaning about the hockey lockout, we should think of taking advantage of the situation and doing something constructive. Let's form the CNHL (Canadian National Hockey League). Here are some advantages:
-- We could eliminate head shots and hitting from behind, thus preventing injuries and once more allowing the small, skilled players like Henri Richard and Dave Keon, who used to please the fans with their intricate stick-handling and beautiful skating, to play the game at the top level.
-- Gary Bettman, the stooge of the owners, and his ilk could no longer prevent Canadian cities such as Hamilton from having a team at the top of our own game.
-- The CNHL could have an interactive schedule with European leagues. This would allow the International Ice Hockey Federation to have more say in governing the game such as the power that FIFA has over soccer. If the violence continues in the game south of the border, they just won't be allowed to participate in IIHF events. We would soon see things change there or the good players would migrate back north.
-- The type of hockey fan would change. We would lose the testosterone-blood-sport fan to be replaced by lovers of skill and hard work.
-- Don Cherry would have to emigrate to the U.S. to promote his hockey violence, because it would no longer be tolerated here.
DONALD A. FRASER
As a trade unionist across the Prairies on hydro dams, precious metal, mines and forestry projects, I think the move to decertify the NHL Players' Association is not the correct move.
It only lets the owners know that union solidarity -- the backbone of strong unions -- among the players is slipping.
I have never advocated ending fighting in hockey. But watching all the shenanigans between the owners and players in the NHL may cause me to rethink this position.