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Late October in Chicago just doesn’t feel the same without Blackhawks hockey. Sure, the Bears are 5-1 and leading the NFC North, and yes, the Bulls regular season officially begins on Halloween night, but with the ongoing NHL lockout denying us the start of the NHL season, some of us are beginning to feel real symptoms of Blackhawks withdrawal. You could always find cheap hockey skates and play yourself, but some may rather watch.
In a nutshell, the month old NHL lockout is a result of NHL players and team owners conflicted on where the league revenues should be split. Not surprisingly, both sides want a bigger cut of the pie, resulting in nasty ongoing negotiations between the NHLPA (NHL Players Association) and the NHL owners, all while fans suffer and become further disillusioned with professional sports. Don’t forget, we just endured an NBA and NFL lockout this past year. As a result of the stalled negotiations to approve a new CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement), the NHL has canceled the entire first month of the NHL season through November first.
So what’s an NHL-deprived girl to do as the lockout continues with no clear end in sight? Good news, ladies. Living in the best sports city in the country, we have other means to getting an NHL fix besides games at the Madhouse.
Champs for Charity Game this Friday night, October 26, 7:30pm at Allstate Arena: This exhibition game of friendly competition will pit the most beloved current and former Blackhawks against other NHL elite with all proceeds benefitting the Ronald McDonald House Charities®, of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana. How tempting is this roster? Adam Burish, Brian Campbell, Jonathan Toews, Kris Versteeg, Patrick Sharp, and Patrick Kane…in addition to 15+ other players from around the league. Tickets start at $10 and can be purchased directly at Tickemaster.com.
Chicago Wolves: As the closest AHL affiliate to downtown Chicago, the Wolves are your best option for a quick and easy hockey fix. Don’t be swayed just because the Wolves are the Vancouver affiliate (the biggest rivals of the Hawks), this is top-notch hockey at half the price of tickets to the Madhouse. Yes, you need to jump on the highway, but we all have to make sacrafices in times of lockouts. This is a small one. You can also catch the Wolves on TV for select games. For the complete schedule and more information, visit www.chicagowolves.com.
- Rockford Ice Hogs: As the official AHL affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks, one can head to Rockford to find several key Blackhawks patiently waiting for the .ockout to end while putting some serious time on the ice for the Hogs. As the official place where Hawks incubate until they are ready to play in the big leagues, the Hog’s roster is a who’s who of up-and-coming Hawks players. Currently playing for the Hogs are Blackhawks Bradon Bollig, Jimmy Hayes, Andrew Shaw and Nick Leddy. You can’t get their games LIVE on the tube here in Chicago, but you can access them online. Or, better yet, consider the 1 hour 45 minute road trip to Rockford to check out this impressive roster first hand. For more information on the Ice Hogs, visit www.icehogs.com.
- For more information on the NHL lockout and all other hot Chicago sports stories with a woman’s style and perspective – of course, head over to SportsDivas, Inc.