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Monzo: I Live For Hockey And I Love The Rangers — But I Hate The NHL

Hockey fans protest the National Hockey League lockout outside the NHL offices in midtown Manhattan. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)

Hockey fans protest the National Hockey League lockout outside the NHL offices in midtown Manhattan. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)

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By Brian Monzo
» More Columns

Hello everyone. It’s been awhile.

I make it no secret that I am a Rangers fan and a huge hockey fan.

I played hockey. I live for hockey.

But I don’t care about the KHL, OHL or even the AHL.  Sure, I’ve looked into a few Connecticut Whale games to watch some of the young Rangers play, but at the end of the day it’s the NHL that I care about.

But of course, as we all know and have been dealing with for far too long, there is no NHL. In fact, if the NHL ever decides to come to an agreement with the Players’ Association, will anyone even notice that the NHL is back?

Probably not…

What got me thinking on Wednesday was when I was stuck in some traffic, listening to WFAN co-hosts Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts. As they talked about the Knicks, I started thinking about the other team that plays in Madison Square Garden.

I was thinking out loud and I remembered that the Rangers traded for Rick Nash in July. They finally acquired the big power forward who scores a ton of goals — something they have needed forever. They also have a promising young player in Chris Kreider, who lit up everyone’s eyes whenever he was in the offensive zone with the puck.

Oh yeah, and Henrik Lundqvist is a solid goalie.

Brad Richards is a Ranger. Marian Gaborik is a Ranger. Ryan Callahan is a Ranger.

Remember these guys?

Are we really looking at a second canceled season in eight years? Is this really happening?

It is. And while nothing is official yet, it’s slowly looking more and more every day that another entire season is going to  be missed. It’s absolutely pathetic.

Nobody around here cares about the NHL as it is. Sure, people check out the playoffs, and the NHL was really gaining some attention nationally. But right now — and with the possibility of another missed season — there will be no such thing as the “four major sports” in this country. It will be down to three. Even if the NHL comes back, it will be a stretch to consider the league a major sport.

Hell, soccer and Nascar are closing in as the fourth major sport.

I am embarrassed for the league, the players and everyone in between.

I feel for the vendors, restaurants, and employees of the league that are losing income because of this.

The players and owners are fine financially. They don’t care about the little people or the fans. They can say they do, but they don’t. They’re selfish. They say they are all looking for a “fair and right” deal. Is it fair and right to do this to perhaps the most loyal fan base in all of sports … AGAIN?!

It’s not like this is the first time that we’ve had to deal with this. Amazingly enough, it likely won’t be the last time.

We are at the end of December. No deal is set and we have no idea what they’re doing. We know that they are having some legal issues and will be in court.

I mean, come on….

For all you hockey fans, I know that you will be back, as will I. But for the rest of the country, the NHL’s existence is just a nasty rumor at this point.

Gary Bettman is going to take the fall for this, and right or wrong he deserves to. I like Bettman. I am one of the few people that will actually say that. But his future does not look bright. His owners are ruining the league. If you cannot afford to own a team, then sell it.

As for the players, for the most part their arguments are valid. But their inability to adapt to a longer collective bargaining agreement is a brutal job by them. It’s a joke.

It’s a joke on both ends.

I hate the NHL.

Happy holidays!

We’re sure that all you hockey fans out there empathize with Monzo. Sound off with your thoughts and comments below…