With the NHL locking out its players and no end in sight to the labour dispute, local businesses are re-assessing how they'll operate in the absence of a pro hockey season.
Coquitlam Express president and owner Darcy Rota wouldn't wish a lockout on the fans or players, but he does see how his B.C. Hockey League team may benefit as fans look elsewhere for their hockey fix.
"We hope that when the Canucks fan or the hockey fan is not getting any NHL hockey, and if it does last for any length of time, [They'll see] that we're a good choice," said Rota. "We'd like to think our hockey is good hockey and people will come."
Tickets to Express games, which are mostly held on Friday and Saturday nights, are between $6 and $13 - a fraction of the cost fans pay to see the squabbling NHL teams and players.
As an NHL alumnus and Express owner, Rota has a unique perspective on the lockout and dispute over revenue sharing.
"[I know] the players need the owners and the owners need the players. I'd like to think there could be movement somewhere. With a partnership, I'd like to think maybe 50/50 [revenue sharing].
"I know they're talking about rollbacks that the NHL wants to do with the salaries, and the players are fussy about that. That will be a real sticking point," he said.
"But being the owner of a junior hockey team, I know how tough it is to make a go of it, financially. Some of the owners in the National Hockey League, I hear, are having a tough go of it too."
Still, Rota would rather not have his team benefit at the expense of Canada's game.
"Will it have an affect on us with the lockout? Yeah, it will, but I think for the good of hockey, it's good when the National Hockey League is playing."
Pub managers, who count on a big portion of annual revenue coming from hockey fans who like to go out and cheer their teams on, are going to have to make some adjustments.
"It's disappointing for sure, no question. I know we have a lot of Canucks fans who come in here," said Owen Coomer, manager of the John B Pub in Coquitlam.
Instead of showing hockey, John B will simply screen more different sports. Downtown Vancouver sports bars will feel the sting more so, Coomer said.
"We're talking about millions of dollars they could lose in revenue, but at the end of the day, I just don't see it happening with us," noting that the 2004-05 lockout didn't significantly hurt business.
But the manager of Port Moody's Golden Spike pub says her bar will face a steeper challenge.
"We're really disappointed. A lot of bars try to build a culture that they build their business around. We try to build our culture around hockey and fundraising," said Cheryl Semenuik. "It is going to impact us in a negative way. There's going to be a lot less sales and there's going to be a lot less shifts for staff."
But Semenuik is treating the Canadian crisis in the Canadian fashion - brainstorming ideas to fill the gaps in entertainment left by the lockout.
"We kind of put all our eggs into one basket. So on one hand, it's a tremendous loss. On the other hand, it's an opportunity for us."
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