One has to wonder, after 113 days of life without NHL hockey, just how close we came to losing another entire season to labor strife. Not that long ago we went through an entire year without the puck dropping in St. Louis, and the rest of the hockey world. The comeback from that incident was painful, as the casual hockey fan had written off the sport as something they could live without. The Scottrade Center (then Savvis) was mostly empty for the next few seasons. Of course, the dismal state of the Blues roster in the post-Bill Laurie ownership period had a lot to do with that too.
As a part-time employee of the Blues, I had some inside indications that Commissioner Gary Bettman and the owners had no intention of losing the entire season. It's my belief that they felt that the fan base was secure enough to bargain hard with the players to get a deal that they wanted to live with long term. They were ready to lose around half of the season to do it, and they did. Now the business of repairing the damage has to begin. Good luck to new Blues owner Tom Stillman, and his local group of investors, in recapturing the love lost for The Note over the last few months. It's comforting to know that we won't have to go through this again for at least eight years.