You might only be vaguely aware of it, especially on this weekend full of football, but the NHL is still locked out and there is no sign of an end. We're thankful for this, and we'll tell you why.

(Here's a quick recap of the negotiations so far: Well, it's like every sorts lockout of the last decade. Both sides wouldn't budge at first, but then the league conceded a little ground, and then the player's conceded a little ground. Then everything went to hell and both sides were stubborn again. And then there was some more conceding, and then some more hard lining. The latest is they're, "still far apart," on, y'know, all the important things. This morning there are rumors the players union will decertify, similar to what NBA players did to end their lockout.)

There is no sign of a Christmas Day start like the NBA had after their last lockout. There was no rush to save the season like the NFL. Obama told Leno, "these guys should get this done." Thanks for that, POTUS. Really lighting a fire under the negotiations there. The Canadian government is at least aware of the lockout because the player's association wrote a letter to parliament this week. Prime Minister Harper hasn't said squat, though. But this is all a good thing, and this is why. 

We're thankful for the NHL lockout because... we have more time to spend working the waiver wire for our playoff-bound fantasy football team. Before we would have to balane the responsibilities of a mediocre football team and a mediocre hockey team, and both would end in disaster. Playoffs, baby. It tastes good. 

We're thankful for the NHL lockout because... they already cancelled that stupid outdoor game, aka the Winter Classic, they do every year on New Year's day. It would have been cool this year, being hosted at the Big House in front of 100,000 people, with an American team playing a Canadian team. And laying on the couch and drinking leftover beer New Year's Day watching outdoor hockey became a favorite tradition, but who cares now? Let's order Chinese and watch the Terminator like we used to. 

We're thankful for the NHL lockout because... we finally got caught up on last year's Oscar movies. Did you guys catch The Descendants? That one was a doozy. Still haven't seen The Artist, though. Don't trust the dog. 

We're thankful for the NHL lockout because... we're going to the gym a lot more. At least, in a perfect world we'll start doing this before the lockout ends. We need to get past the crying, first. 

We're thankful for the NHL lockout because... we're drinking less

We're thankful for the NHL lockout because... NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is rude enough (alternatively: crazy enough) to say the owners are negotiating in good faith to a fan's face. And it was a Philadelphia fan, no less. It's like he was inviting assault. 

We're thankful for the NHL lockout because... we're already almost done of our Christmas shopping. We're used to finishing the week of, normally. 

We're thankful for the NHL lockout because... it produced this parody of Robyn's "Call Your Girlfriend," that's how bad things are in Canada right now. 

We're thankful for the NHL lockout because... the Russian KHL league, where many NHL players have gone to stay in shape and play, is just as good. /holds a straight face

We're thankful for the NHL lockout because... NBC already started airing commercials for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Without the Winter Classic to promote, might as well look ahead to the year NBC will be airing hockey next.