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Life without the NHL is going to be very tough

Published: Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012 9:40 p.m. CDT

So, according to Reuters media on Thursday, the National Hockey League has canceled the first two weeks of the regular season due to its ongoing lockout with the players.

That is really depressing.

What it means is that 82 games have been wiped off the schedule, which was supposed to start on Oct. 11. It is the first time this has happened since the 2004-05 season, which was, of course, wiped out all together.

The was one of the worst winters that I can remember as far as sports goes and it doesn't bode well this time around, either. It figures since my interest in the game has gotten back to where it was at one point when I was a teenager.

To me, no NHL hockey means having no sports to watch from the conclusion of the Super Bowl until spring training starts. It's not an enormous gulf there but without hockey it will feel like an eternity.

Even if this lockout goes on and games are canceled in January, it will not be a fun sports season at all. Once the football playoffs roll around and at the end of the NCAA bowl season, what is left?

The NBA? I'd rather chew on dull and rusted razor blades than watch the NBA.

The canceled games at this point do not necessarily mean canceled games since they could theoretically be re-scheduled. That is until about the third week in October when we will start "losing" games off the schedule.

Many NHL players are heading to Europe to play as this lockout keeps going. Three Chicago Blackhawks players have already done this. Bryan Bickell became the latest to do so on Wednesday as he is heading for Austria. Michael Frolik and Michal Rozsival had already beat him to the punch. Both of them are playing in the Czech League.

Considering that its been a month since the owners and players have made any reported significant progress over the work stoppage, look for more of this kind of news in the future. There has been about 100 players who have made this decision already, including Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin. Those two are playing in Russia, which has signed about a quarter of the players going abroad at this point. By my count, almost as many are also going to the Czech Republic like Frolik and Rozsival.

That's probably the best place to be if this lockout goes the route the last one did. Wouldn't be the first time I hopped a plane to Moscow. If only I could afford it.

I need to find another sport to look for after football ends.

Apparently this is what the folks in Canada are doing. According to a report in the Toronto Globe and Mail, those north of the border are turning to the NFL in droves to meet an unmet craving.

So where does a guy go to find an alternative in the U.S?

Major League Soccer ends in about two weeks. Golf's Masters isn't until April and NASCAR opens with the Daytona 500 in late February.

Australian rules football, anyone?

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