Has Ken Dryden hit upon a secret that the NHL may not want to know. That many Canadians may be finding that this unrequited love affair with hockey can easily be replaced?
That may be the bottom line as the NHL/NHLPA stumbles on to its fifth month with little in the way of negotiating let alone hockey playing taking place. Dryden who it seems has been named minister of hockey affairs in the Paul Martin cabinet, gave a well thought out answer to the question of whether Canadians will survive without their hockey fix.
The cabinet minister and much respected thinker on all things hockey was offering his opinions on the state of the game, after advising that it was doubtful that the Federal Government of Canada would become embroiled in the increasingly bitter and fruitless discussions of late.
Dryden suggests that NHL owners may rue the day that they deprived the Canadian public with it's all encompassing fixture of hockey. The backlash against the misadventures of both union and ownership may be felt in future gate receipts and television ratings. Many fans may find that they get along just fine without a six hour marathon on Saturday night or a meaningless midweek game in January.
For both sides in this dispute it may soon be a case of reaping what they have sewn!