Danny Briere, Kimmo Timonen Think It's Unwise To Take Fans For Granted
With the end of the collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and its player’s association fast approaching, negotiations between the two groups continued on Wednesday with little headway being made on common language.
Commissioner Gary Bettman has made it clear that if the two sides cannot come to terms on a new deal by the Sept. 15 expiration date of the current CBA, the league will lockout the players.
Despite this possibility, Bettman believes the league will not suffer any adverse effects because the NHL’s fans are the greatest fans in the world and will return regardless how many games are potentially missed.
In a feature by Lisa Hillary of Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, Daniel Briere of the Philadelphia Flyers warned that while the fans maybe loyal, its unwise to assume they will take an extended lockout in stride.
Most importantly, he doesn’t think they should be taken for granted.
“I think we have to be aware,” Briere said. “We played with all the fans emotions the first time around, I don’t think its right to keep doing that.
“I know there are some people that are saying, ‘they’ll come back, they did it last time, they’ll do it again,’ but I think that’s a dangerous game to play; you’re taking a lot of people for granted and you have to be careful.”
Briere’s teammate Kimmo Timonen also expressed concern about fans being turned away by an extended lockout.
However, Timonen has a different, more sobering concern than just the fans' emotions.
“Maybe families have less money to spend, maybe the economy is not that great this time around,” he said. “[Even though] we have the greatest fans in the world maybe this time we should think about [how they might have] less money to spend.”
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