Tonight would have been a thrilling night of NHL hockey. You know, if the owners and players weren't fighting over which millionaires were entitled to more millions than the other millionaires. Every night the NHL Lockout goes on, 104.5 The Team will break down the games that both sides have stolen from us, because a world without hockey talk is worse than being an Islanders fan.

Both defending conference champions were set to open their seasons tonight, and in incredibly fascinating matchups. Those games, a home opener in Hockeytown and the season debut of Sid the Kid would have highlighted the first Friday of the NHL season, if not for the lockout.

New York Islanders at Pittsburgh Penguins: There is no guarantee that Sidney Crosby would have stayed healthy, given that he is the Austin Collie of the NHL from a health perspective, but any chance to see him back on the ice would have been welcome. Given how weak the Islanders are, he probably would have racked up a few points too.

New Jersey Devils at Washington Capitals: Gary Bettman sure is competent. In a year that a labor dispute looked imminent for a while, the guy and his scheduling cronies make sure to match the defending Eastern Conference champions with one of the brightest stars in the league right away. That way, if games were cancelled, we'd be sure to miss that one! It's as if Bettman wanted everyone to forget how awful Roger Goodell was and take all of the bad commissioner attention for himself. It's working, Gary. Oh how it is working.

Nashville Predators at Detroit Red Wings: Last year, the Preds upset the Red Wings in the postseason, and were laying the foundation for an interesting little rivalry in the Western Conference. So much for that momentum continuing to build with an opening night game.

San Jose Sharks at Anaheim Ducks: The only injustice greater than the NHL robbing its fans of games for the second season in eight years is the fact that the Ducks took 'Mighty' out of their team name and got rid of the logo and color scheme associated with the Mighty Ducks movies. Charlie Conway would be so displeased.

New York Rangers vs. Los Angeles Kings: It seems as if the last few years, the Rangers have been considered one of the favorites, if not the favorite, to win the Eastern Conference and make a run at the Cup. What better way to measure their chances this year than a game in the building of the defending champions? Oh, wait, I know: sitting at home during a labor dispute. That sounds like a much better alternative.