“When Black Friday comes
I'm gonna dig myself a hole
Gonna lay down in it
Till I satisfy my soul…
Gonna let the world pass by me
The Archbishop's gonna sanctify me
And if he don't come across
I'm gonna let it roll…”
In recent years, the Friday after Thanksgiving has evolved into the first shopping day of the holiday season, and maddening crowds queue outside stores for bargains. That’ll happen again in a week.
What won’t happen on Nov. 23 is the NBC inaugural telecast of Rangers-Bruins in Boston, to which many pundits had pointed as the potential start of the look-what-the-cat-dragged-in NHL season. Even if a CBA was miraculously reached tomorrow, a week of training camps are needed and time for players to return from Europe is required.
By next week, the possibility of a Dec. 1 kickoff for the season may go by the boards as well. Sports Business Daily reports a source saying that the NHL could lop off another two weeks of games, through Dec. 15. By my math, that’s another 108 games, added to the 327 already scrapped.
Remember, some of this is spin and scare tactics. Of course, it could also be Dec. 8, I believe, which would mean the cancellation of 56 more games, not 108. (Dec. 9th through Dec. 15 has 52 scheduled games.) The league has however, wiped out games in larger chunks so far. It may make more sense to set a drop-dead date for the season to spark some urgency in the bargaining, which is at a standstill.
Anyway, two more weeks down the drain would mean another seven games lost for the Rangers and eight more for the Islanders.
The Garden must believe that a new schedule will be forthcoming, because the Dec. 12 game against the Canadiens at MSG has been replaced by a star-studded rock-and-roll benefit to raise money for Sandy victims.