Some supporters have started grass roots efforts to pledge they won't return when the labor strife is settled. Los Angeles hockey fan Steve Chase started the "Just Drop It" campaign that encourages fans to boycott one NHL game for every game canceled after Dec. 21st.
No tickets, no TV, no merchandise. They won't spend a minute watching games or spend a dime on the league.
Penguins star Sidney Crosby understands why fans are upset over the third lockout in Commissioner Gary Bettman's 20-year tenure. He says it's pretty easy for fans, players and management to feel frustrated over the lockout.
History shows the fans will return. The NHL totaled a record 21,468,121 fans in 2011-12, seven years after a lockout wiped out a full season.