San Jose Sharks alternate captain Dan Boyle's main lockout concern isn't the money he'll miss out on, reports CSN Bay Area. He's worried about the long-term damage being done to the game, and how things will sit with the fans when everything is said and done.
The veteran defenseman knows any and all delays do damage to the goodwill of the fans and how the game itself is viewed:
"It's not the checks that I'm missing. My biggest concern is the fans," Boyle said. "I'm so grateful and thankful to be playing this game, but if there's nobody in the stands to play in front of, that's the worst part. And that's my biggest concern, is we're hurting the game. We had some good steam coming in here. That's what I worry about every day, and that's what I talk to my wife about. I just don't want to damage the fans, and the game."
Boyle is a 14-year pro and is in the second-to-last year of a six-year, $40 million deal. He stood to earn $6.67 million this year, and the same amount in the following season. He's also concerned about players who may not have the opportunity to enjoy as long a career as he has:
"[Lost paychecks] might affect certain guys. Again, at this point in my career, that's not affecting me as much as a younger guy or a guy in a different position."
Representatives for both sides met for talks recently, with discussions continuing for four straight days. Despite that, no concrete progress has been made.
Given his concerns, Boyle simply doesn't understand any delay:
"I don't understand it, because time is of the essence. I'd rather hammer away at it than waste another two weeks when time is so crucial."