It’s October and there still is no hockey in sight. The National Hockey League is in the midst of another long-lived lockout that is threatening the entire 2012-2013 season. The season was originally scheduled to start on Oct. 11, but without a collective bargaining agreement in place 82 regular season games have been cancelled through Oct. 24 so far. Things are not looking very promising as of now as both sides seem uneager to budge in their negotiations.
There is a sliver of a hope that things may be getting better though. The NHL and the NHL Players Association did resume discussions Tuesday, Oct. 2 in order to try to hammer out some details. The two sides met for two hours before breaking without any future meetings scheduled. Unfortunately, according to the Miami Herald, NHL deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said that there was no progress made.
This is certainly discouraging news for NHL fans and players across the country but there is a bright side. The continued meetings between the NHL and the NHLPA means that they are starting to feel the effects of losing an entire preseason and are starting to realize what losing the regular season might mean. The NHL loses millions for every week of hockey that is missed and both the players and the league takes that hit.
Under the old CBA, the players received 57 percent of NHL revenues while the owners received the remaining 43 percent. With no hockey being played until at least Oct. 24, neither the players nor owners will see any revenue whatsoever.
Players are trying to fill the monetary void by signing with other leagues such as the Kontinental Hockey League so it is clear that they have started to feel the effects of a possible lengthy lockout that began on Sept. 15. The owners will also continue to bleed money as long as the lockout continues with no viable options to save their teams revenue.
Something else to keep in mind is that the longer the lockout goes on, the more repercussions it will have on the current season when and if an agreement is reached. New schedules will have to be created and released if the lockout continues deep into the year in order to insure fairness among all 30 teams. Also, with a shortened and altered schedule, the landscape of the NHL playoffs could greatly change if powerhouse teams get off to slow starts in their respective conferences.
There is not a whole lot of good news for hockey fans as of now and it seems like the 2012-2013 season could be lost. The sides are talking though which is start and as games continue to get cancelled throughout the season the pressure should build on both sides to get a deal done. Whether that happens or not is yet to be seen. Hockey fanatics that are starved for action can find some solace through ESPN 3, who will be broadcasting KHL games during the lockout.
By: Ben Decowski