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2012 NHL Lockout: Lightning fans plan protest event

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A public protest outside the Tampa Bay Times Forum of the 2012 NHL lockout is planned for Saturday, the day of what would have been the Tampa Bay Lightning's season opener.

Bruce Bennett - Getty Images

On the eve of the 2012 NHL lockout, a handful of Tampa Bay Lightning fans congregated outside the Tampa Bay Times Forum to voice displeasure about the then-forthcoming work stoppage.

Now they're doing it again, and like-minded fans are invited to join them.

On the evening of Saturday, October 13th, to coincide what should have been the Lightning's season opener against the Florida Panthers, a contingent of fans plan to once again congregate outside Times Palace and protest the 2012 NHL lockout.

The description of the public event, as posted on its Facebook page, reads as thus:

"Let's get together when we were SUPPOSE to be getting ready for the first game of the season and show Gary Bettman and the NHL we WANT HOCKEY!!!"

Now, to be clear - Gary Bettman knows fans want their hockey - that's why he's made smug remarks expecting fans to come back immediately after the end of the Lockout - no matter when that should be. The NHL Lockout will end when and only when Gary gets what NHL owners are after.

At the same time, this event is a good opportunity to have NHL fans in the Tampa Bay area to have a pseudo meet-up event, as any and all attendees have one thing in common: the love for the sport and the frustration with the 2012 CBA negotiations that are well out of fans control.