The idea of an NHL boycott borders on laughable. Gary Bettman is right when he says hockey has the greatest fans. The die-hards will be back as soon as the lockout ends. The casual observers will return when football season is over.
But just for discussion sake (since there are no on-ice doings to talk about), let's say some Sabres fans are really ready to boycott the NHL. They're sick of owners shutting down the league and tired of giving them money.
Should that anger carry over to the Rochester Americans?
Terry Pegula owns the Sabres and Amerks. Sure, he's been a good guy and even the Sabres aren't mad at him. ("As far as we see it, there’s no grudge against Terry or anyone. He’s been good to us," Thomas Vanek said.)
But one simple fact remains: Pegula is one of the 30 owners who voted unanimously to lock out the players and shut down the league. Bettman made it clear there are no ifs, ands or buts. The owners are all in this together, so Pegula helped turn off the NHL.
So why would fans who are mad at the NHL want to help Pegula recoup the $20.75 million he's doled out in signing bonuses by following the Amerks?
There already has been a lot of chatter in local hockey circles about the Amerks. They'll be stacked with players such as Marcus Foligno, Cody Hodgson and Brayden McNabb. They're bringing (at least) one of their games to Buffalo.
I get it. Fans just want hockey. My guess is Pegula, a fan at heart, wants to see the pucks fly in the NHL just as bad as anyone. Sabres players must think that, too, the way Ryan Miller and Vanek (among others) are publicly urging him to speak up.
But until he brings back the NHL, should fans give their money to his AHL team?