Author's note: After watching High Fidelity and remembering how enjoyable it is to make top five lists with friends, I'm going to try something new. Every Thursday (or a day that ends in a "y") I'm going to come up with a top five list that involves Minnesota Wild current events. Is it original? Hell No. Does that matter?
Provided there is a miraculous 11th hour deal, it looks like the NHL is going to take the route of the NFL and NBA and lock its players out Saturday at midnight. This will be the third labor dispute in 18 years and follows the cancellation of the entire 2004-2005 season over the previous collective bargaining agreement. While it's disappointing to see a repeat of eight years ago, the fact is that both the players association and owners are looking out for their best interests and those interests contain millions of dollars.
So instead of going in-depth on the issues separating the two sides, lets look at the top five things to do during a Lockout.
5. Twiddle Our Thumbs
Five minutes of fun down, a lot more to go.
4. Be entertained by "Classic Games"
One thing that Fox Sports North may do to kill some time in case of a Lockout is broadcast "classic Wild games." I don't know what makes them classic - playoff wins from 2003, a five goal comeback or even Dan Terhaar's calls (you can't escape Terhaar, you can only contain him). There aren't many games to choose from with a twelve year-old franchise which are "classic" (and even fewer recently) so this should be fun until the label gets stretched beyond belief.
And if that doesn't work, there's always poker.
3. Pick up a hobby
Whittling, growing a beard, drinking, learning how to skate - these are all hobbies which can be picked up to pass the time.
2. Watch the Gophers...or the world of hockey around us
The NHL might not want to hear this but hockey continues to be played even if they don't. One of the great things about the State of Hockey is that there are many ways to get the fix; most Minnesota hockey fans are united by the Wild and fight over college rivalries for their "real" team. Regardless of whether there is NHL hockey this season, there will be 10,000 rabid fans at Mariucci Arena, 6,600 at new Amsoil Arena and 11,000 at the Ralph. Even more will be at high school and community rinks throughout the state.
The Lockout will not touch the AHL as well so there is also the Houston Aeros, who will be at the Xcel Energy Center November 18th, for something Wild-related. If you like hockey (and odds are you do if you're reading this), support the local teams in your area.
(Don't know any? Check out Chris Peters' "Living with the Lockout" series over at United States of Hockey. There's something within driving range.)
1. Go Outside!
The weather outside is nice. Not too hot, not too cold and the leaves falling look more beautiful than hanging out in my mom's basement. Enjoy it until winter comes and then enjoy (depending on which part of the country you live in) the snow and pond hockey. Although it's great to spend time fretting over the National Hockey League, there is an entire world out there. Explore it.
Photo Credit Nathan Wells