Last weekend I woke up to a notification on my phone saying that the NHL was coming back this month. Surprisingly, it didn't make me as happy as I thought it would.
I consider myself a huge hockey fan, from junior hockey to college hockey to professional hockey, I love it all. I love watching it, photographing it and even participating in fantasy hockey leagues. So when the lockout was announced I was a little torn up.
Yet when I read that notification from ESPN on my phone, I wasn't jumping for joy.
Now, don't get me wrong, I am so happy to hear I'll be able to watch hockey with my roommates and friends again. I'm just still a little bitter about how long the lockout lasted.
I had plans to take my father to the Winter Classic and alumni game for his birthday, but those games were canceled months ago. After that there was the news of the cancellation of the all-star game and skills competition. With these traditions gone, I thought the season would be over completely, so I was settling in for a long lockout.
The fact that it didn't go the whole season is just amazing - any loyal hockey fan would agree with that statement. Which brings me to the other reason why I wasn't so excited to hear of the return of the NHL.
As the lockout continued for month after month and news about the negotiations trickled out, people would talk about it or post comments on websites about it and the NHL. That's all fine and dandy. But, after a while, those comments began to take a different course.
People started to turn their backs on the sport and the teams they once claimed they would always be loyal to.
Yes, the lockout was a mess and, yes, the arguing over money seemed ridiculous. But if you're a true fan of the sport and as loyal to your team as I am to the Red Wings, you'll be right there with me cheering them on during their first game back - no matter what your feelings about the lockout are.
Editor's note: Recent Northern Michigan University graduate and Mining Journal Ishpeming Bureau reporter Adelle Whitefoot can be reached at 906-228-2500. Her email address is email@example.com.