Phew! That was getting scary!

For awhile there it seemed like the NHL and NHLPA were just going to string us along with phony deadlines, and that they wouldn’t really negotiate, and they’d just sit there while the hockey season passed by and our emotions were played like the strings on a mandolin, but THANK GOD they aren’t that dumb. Not like anyone is, but still…phew.

To think, this whole time, the deadlines they were giving us were real, amirite? I mean, not to sound like a skeptic, but there were times when I wasn’t so sure. They have been talking on the phone, they have been sending each other emails, and through professionalism, honesty, and hard work, they reached a compromise that’s acceptable for both sides. Wow. It’s almost too good to be true. You know what they say: a good compromise leaves both sides feeling screwed, and even though they may not love the deal, they did what they had to do for the fans. I mean, there’s no game with us, y’know? They obviously know.

Sure enough, October 25th rolled around today and they announced the new CBA deal. There’s going to be a hurried week of training camp, then an 82 game season complete with the Winter Classic and everything! HBO’s 24/7 will take us behind the scenes of two of the most interesting organizations in the NHL, the Leafs and Red Wings, and we’ll really get to see how these teams operate. What do you think Mike Babcock is like during his down time? I can’t wait to find out. Man, I’m so glad we didn’t lose the opportunity to see that.

All because of how reasonable and kind and fair Gary Bettman is, and how smart the owners are (like they’d follow up an all-time high in generated revenues after a major market won a Stanley Cup with a lockout, ha!), and how willing the players were to get hockey back, we get to see the Los Angeles Kings defend their Cup. Dude, I cannot wait to get to breaking that down. Do you think they’ll repeat?

Who do you think will lead the league in scoring? I say Claude Giroux. No! Sidney Crosby. Wait! Malkin again? I dunno, I’m just so happy we’re going to get to see everything play out. Systems Analyst posts are coming, you guys. I have so many funny thought bubble ideas to put over players heads (I know it’s cruel, but you guys know I make those jokes with good intentions, right?).

Y’know, after the hours and money and emotions I’ve invested in hockey, I can’t help but feel like the League did the right thing today. I would’ve felt really screwed if the NHL let more artificial deadlines pass, let the season waste away, and slowly, painstakingly ripped games away from a real fan like myself in two week chunks. That would’ve just been torture!

Consider this my thank you to Gary Bettman and the owners. Next Friday, the puck will drop on the 2012-13 season. What a guy that man is. What a person.

What a complete, utter, dick. I can’t believe the bastards aren’t even talking.