I must disagree. I have been a Wings fan since Gordie was still good. I wear Wings gear 365 days a year. I eat Little Caesars, especially when new contracts are signed (see Pavel and Hank) to help pay those contracts. I attend games every chance I can afford them. My family had season tickets since 1982. The Wings/Leafs Winter Classic is the game of a lifetime for me. I have poured most of my disposable income into this team. I think I can safely call myself a true fan.
I think they were really worried about fan reaction in 1994...scared to death of it. Somewhat worried in 2004 if they lost the season, but I think there is much less worry on either side now because history has shown that the fans will come back.
The problem with the plan is that the fans won't follow through, they will come back as soon as games are played again.....if not, are they really fans? If they stay away, how does that help the game? I suppose it could help when the next CBA is about to expire, but that would only work if the fans that decide to punish them will stay away forever....which is only the case if they are not fans.....so...again, what's the point?
This lockout has, shall we say, dampened my enthusiasm. If a deal IS done this year, as much as it pains me, I will not attend the Winter Classic. I have begun purchasing non-Wings related winter clothing. Some who know me see this as a sign of the apocalypse. I don't know that I will even watch any games, but I won't rule out the possibility. That not watching is even a consideration for me would have been inconceivable 3 months ago. 3 lockouts has taken its toll. Being a fan of hockey has not come cheap; why am I going to hand over thousands of dollars to a sport that doesn't give a s*** whether I attend or not, outside of the profit pool?
If, as a fan, I can't have a CBA with the NHL guaranteeing me they won't cancel out the sport I've spent a lifetime loving and supporting, then for now, I'm not giving them a dime. I need a new computer anyway. Not buying Wings sweatshirts should cover that.