Red Wings fans still soured by lockout despite potential shortened season

Published On: Jan 07 2013 06:14:05 PM EST
Updated On: Jan 07 2013 06:39:15 PM EST

Even though there likely will be a shortened season, the NHL lockout had already done enough damage to the league's fan base.

SOUTHGATE, Mich. -

It didn't take long to find the die-hards breaking out the Detroit Red Wings gear the day after the NHL and players announced a tentative deal which could pave the way for a shortened season.

Related: Red Wings may fill Joe Louis this season after all

At Mallie's Sports Bar in Southgate, where they have hosted Stanley Cup viewing parties with the real Cup and where Red Wings memorabilia lines the walls, Local 4 found Tom Orgeck with his Stanley Cup Jacket.

Orgeck will be watching the games on TV, but not going to Joe Louis Arena.

"It's gonna be a slow-go because there are a lot of people, who are not like me, who are going to blame the players," he said.

Others blame the owners for the current hockey-free winter. Mark Gawrecki is a former season ticket holder who says he probably won't be paying for games anymore.

"If I get free tickets, but to pay for them now ... probably not," he said.

The NHL enjoys more than Red Wings fans in Metro Detroit, believe it or not. Bob Kozickie, of Cleveland, says the Columbus Blue Jackets are doing what they can to get him to buy season tickets, but they aren't making the sale.

"Who gets screwed in the end? The fans. We got shafted on the whole deal," he said.

Down the street at Fanatic U, where they sell Red Wings swag, James Sowards said he won't be buying NHL merchandise either.

"I'll watch the games on TV but I won't buy their stuff either because I am still pretty upset about it," Sowards said. "I mean, it just seems pointless with how much money there is. Why should I spend my money on them? I'm struggling and they're fighting over millions of dollars."