Fans move to boycott NHL owners' businesses 0
Oh! The good old hockey game/Is the best game you can name. - Stompin' Tom Connors, The Hockey Song
A group of dedicated National Hockey League fans won't cry in their beer if team owners lock out their players - they are planning to take billionaire owners into the boards very hard.
How? By launching a consumer boycott of NHL team owners' other businesses - including breweries and restaurant chains - to penalize them for high sticking fans.
The website Youhavetwoweeks.com was set up along with a Facebook page and Twitter account to let fans take things into their own hands and wallets as a potentially lengthy lockout starts Sept.15.
The campaign - launched two weeks before the planned lockout - details NHL owners' other holdings as targets.
Those include B.C. businesses like Denny's Restaurants, Moxie's Classic Grill, the Shark Club and Sandman Hotels - all ventures of Dallas Stars' owner Tom Gaglardi. Vancouver Canucks' owner Francesco Aquilini and his family's development empire is also listed.
Other NHL franchises targeted include Toronto Maple Leafs' owners Bell Canada and Rogers Communications as well as Montreal Canadians' owner Molson Coors Brewing Company.
While the fans behind the campaign say they aren't out to change the world, they are concerned about who will really get hurt by a lockout.
"I'm not trying to make this a noble cause - we just want to watch hockey," Oilers fan T.J. Tully said in a Sunday interview from Edmonton.
But Tully points out that in addition to fans missing their good old hockey game, the real victims will be thousands of modest income workers who have jobs at NHL arenas.
"It's the millionaires fighting the billionaires but they're hurting the $10,000aires who work at the arenas selling food and beer and cleaning up," Tully said.
"The owners aren't worried about them - it's just one more corporate decision for hundreds of millions of dollars, but they don't see the real-life consequences," he said.
So to balance the pressure, Tully and three friends set up the campaign to make the owners also face some heat - since players won't have any income if a lockout starts.
Ultimately, Tully thinks his campaign could just make the difference between a long, bitter lockout or a full season.
"If we can convince even one owner to change their vote, it's worthwhile," he said.