Hockey fans hurt when players, owners disagree
Posted September 16, 2012
Raleigh, N.C. — For some sports fans in the Triangle, fall means more than college football. The National Hockey League training camp is just a week away, and no other major sports league has such strong ties to the Triangle.
In an area where college sports dominate, Derek Roessler and thousands of other Caniacs enjoy the camaraderie of being fans of the Carolina Hurricanes.
"It's nice to be able to get together and have a common ally, a common foe on one side of the ice or other," he said.
Mike and Leigh Flanagan's life together has revolved around hockey. The two met at a tailgate. They face an indeterminate wait before they return to that PNC Arena parking lot. Players won't report to camp and season tickets won't be mailed until hockey players and team owners can reach a new collective bargaining agreement. The two sides are so far apart that no talks were held on Sunday.
"I look at leadership," Mike Flanagan said. "No other sports league has had four work stoppages in 20 years."
Meanwhile, its the fans and those who work the local arenas who suffer.
"I think about Bobby," Mike Flanagan said.
"Bobby is the security guard for the third level. Bobby has been there for 12 years. Bobby has taken great care of us and made sure the fans have a great time. Bobby is not getting taken care of now."
Rita Stubbs, director of Club Red Volleyball, will be looking for another source of income, too. Club Red players and parents work the concessions at Hurricanes games and raise thousands for travel to games and for player scholarships. She said some families won't be able to afford for their daughters to participate without those funds.
Until the lockout ends, Triangle hockey fans will have to find another way to spend their time.
"Last lockout I would stick my head in the freezer just to smell the ice," Leigh Flanagan said. "I miss the smell of the ice and the sounds of the ice."