A plea to save the NHL from itself sign now

You Gentlemen are the guardians of the greatest game on the face of the planet. You are the ones responsible to ensure that the torch lit by Rocket Richard, Gordie Howe, Bobby Hull and their contemporaries, passed down to the like of Bobby Orr, Bobby Clarke, Mike Bossy, Patrick Roy, Mark Messier, Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, and now humbly handed on to the generation of Martin St. Louis, Rick Nash, Jarome Iginla, and Vincent LeCavalier stays lit. To be blunt gentlemen, you stood idly by while that flame went dim. There are folks in Quebec, Winnipeg and Hartford whose very lives were shattered by decisions you made for the 'good of the game'. Now as attendance and ratings flounder in such grand Hockey markets as Anaheim California, the fans who you recognize as the greatest in sport are finally going to hold you accountable for your gross abuse of our trust, general incompetence, and most importantly, the deathblow you dealt to the image of hockey worldwide. Youve closed arenas, relocated franchises and broken the will of the most ardent supporters of this game. The fans will not be a non-factor in these negotiations anymore. You are entertainers, all of you. You are responsible to the public, which essentially pays your salaries. With that in mind, we ask you, which of us, performing our job so woefully, would still be permitted to carry out said job? You men hold two of the most honored titles in the world of hockey; and you have disgraced them. You gentlemen sit there in your ivory towers built by the sweat of generations of the greatest men to ever lace up a pair of skates, and paid for by the dollars of every blue-collar fan on the continent of North America. You issued your fair share of demands and ultimatums to one another. Well folks, now your fan base will return in kind. You gave us hollow vows, and broken promises. The promise you are about to get from us is not half-hearted as your negotiations were. No, this is a solemn vow of every fan, who is fed up with the nonsense you fed us since 1999 when you realized that you were heading for a collision. Your last-minute efforts fooled no one, because if either of you gentlemen had a desire to see hockey played that outweighed your greed and cowardice, we would be enjoying the greatest game in the world right now.

This is what we, the undersigned fans of the game you are trusted to watch over, expect for our loyalty and money:

To all parties:
You will reach an agreement so that the players can return to play for the entirety of next season. You will have an agreement for a minimum of 5 years, so that you can ensure us we will hear naught of this crime against the very soul of the game for at least half a decade.

To the owners:
You will not have the audacity to raise ticket prices for any of the next three seasons.
You will not have the audacity to threaten a municipality with relocation of its team for the duration of this agreement. We understand after this stoppage, some teams may not be fiscally fit to survive in their current locations. If at the conclusion of these negotiations, you need to relocate your franchise to ensure its survival, you will move it to one of the cities you deserted within the past two decades.

To the players:
Hockey players have always been regarded as juxtaposing a competitive nature on the ice with a level of dignity off it. It is the very premise the Lady Bing trophy is based upon. You will conduct yourselves with that level of respectability again. When the League we love emerges from this slumber that has lasted far too long, we the fans will not tolerate those displays of stick-swinging, submarine checks, butt ending, sucker-punching and overall debauchery which has become far too common in our great game. None of you gentlemen, for the duration of this agreement, will engage in a hold out in an attempt to finagle a higher salary.

And finally, to the two maestros who orchestrated this attack on the fabric of the game itself

To Mr. Bettman and Mr. Goodenow:

You will consult your constituencies that entrusted you with the power you wield when you are given an offer. Neither of you should be able to hold an entire sport hostage in a battle of wills. You will both sign off on an agreement that you will be able to deal with in the long term (IE: Be able to simply extend it in 5 years rather then enter this farce of a negotiation process again). You will both do what is in the best interests of the game, as you seemingly both have forgotten, that is your priority, not looking like the champion of the cause to your constituencies. You will have the league fully operational and in an improved state in time for the 05-06 season to begin on time.

We the fans feel these are simple requests, which should have been carried out already. If we may be frank on the matter, our patience and tolerance for excuses has long expired. Since negotiations could not be expedited in time to play any games this season, you will have an agreement in place to not infringe on the 05-06 season in any fashion. Now, Im sure you gentlemen who wield the power are wondering what your fan base can do to back up its demands. Well, simply put:

If all of the above is not agreed to and the 05-06 season does not start on time, none of the undersigned will attend an NHL game until Mr. Gary Bettman and Mr. Bob Goodenow have both been relieved of their positions.

You laud us as the greatest fans in the world, kindly start treating us like it.

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Latest Signatures

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    I hope that, somehow, this gets to all involved parties. THIS NEEDS TO BE FIXED NOW!!!
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  • 30 July 200831. Joe S
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  • 22 April 200830. Bart Z
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  • 21 May 200729. Ludwig R
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  • 13 March 200728. Michael H
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  • 31 January 200727. Chris S
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  • 24 November 200626. Paul H
    a little late, but i believe in the intent
  • 21 November 200625. Joe G
    I support this petition
  • 14 October 200624. Steve Hardy
    I've signed other petitions, I've vented and I've defended the game to everyone who's path I cross. I've tried to correspond with TV Host Jim Rome in an attempt to right the wrong light he has been portraying hockey in. I have not slept more than two hour

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Alicia WhitakerBy:
Petition target:
The NHLPA and NHL Owners


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