Future isn't bright for Goodenow

Melrose discusses the new CBA, the future of Bob Goodenow and the new salary cap era.

Originally Published: July 13, 2005
By Barry Melrose | Special to ESPN.com
The long wait is finally over, as the NHL owners and players have finally come to the conclusion that playing is better than sitting. Like most hockey fans, I'm very excited to see the light at the end of the tunnel and know there will actually be a "next" season.

I also realize that this CBA, combined with the lost season, means that this will be a different landscape for the NHL. The league is in a terrible position with its fans after abandoning them for a season, and has to do everything in its power to bring the fans back to the arenas and to television sets in America and Canada.

There is obvious distrust and anger among fans. That is both genuine and deserved, because this is a lockout that could've been avoided. Now it's time to heal and for the league and players to join together to let the fans know that it's their sport again. The best way to do that is to go away from some of the corporate angles of the sport and start lowering ticket prices to make hockey games a family destination. The NHL is one of the best fan sports in the world and it's time for the league to prove it.

Barry Melrose

NHL studio analyst
Former NHL player and coach Barry Melrose is an NHL studio analyst for ESPN.