Time is running out! The NHL season is on the verge of being completely canceled. The latest word coming from both sides is that negotiations are expected to resume this week. Yet I have to wonder if both sides have gotten so far deep into this that the lockout will continue for months to come.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly confirmed to the Washington Times that there will indeed be negotiations this week. Daly offered no kind of a timeline to the Times. Now approaching the deadline to save the season, it truly is make it or break it as far as getting a deal done for the league.
The league is expected to announce the cancelation of more regular season games. 48 games in all could be canceled, if not the entire season. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman still has yet to set a deadline but it has to be coming. Games are expected to be canceled through December 30.
Sportsnet reports that the NHL lockout is now at day 86. It was also reported that a grand total of 388 games have been scrapped thus far costing nearly $600 million in player salaries. January may be the final chance at saving this season.
One writer speculates that January 15 could become the make it or break it date for the season to start. If this disagreement is not settled by then, the entire season could be a wash. The 94 lockout lasted until January 11 with games starting less than ten days later. I can’t imagine games starting much later than January 31.
The upside here is that a 48 game season could be a ton of fun. With only 48 games to play, everyone is in it, and you could see some strange teams make the playoffs. It’s not traditional but it is better than nothing. By the time we get near the NHL playoffs most fans will forget about their shortened season and get caught up in the hype of some of the closest races in NHL history.
The NHL lockout is now trickling down to National Hockey League employees. A number of teams and organizations are laying off employees and/or reducing salaries based on the idea that there won’t be hockey for awhile.
The NHL broke the news to employees earlier this week. Beginning October 1, NHL employees will have a reduced work week. The work week will now be reduced to four days. The reduced schedule will result in a 20% pay cut to employees.
Unfortunately the worst may be yet to come. Employees were also told that this may not be the final round of layoffs. More layoffs could come if the lockout continues.
Sadly it appears the people that will get hit the hardest are the people that can least afford it. Hopefully the NHL owners or NHLPA can come to a resolution soon so these people can get their full pay and schedule back immediately.
A lot of hockey fans are starting their week hearing about the NHL lockout for the first time. What the heck happened? Why in the world is there an NHL lockout? Let’s take a look at the why and see what kind of resolution is in sight.
Why is there another NHL lockout? Well as always, it comes down to money. The NHL owners want the players to take a reduced slice of the pie home. The NHL owners want the players to take a 47% piece of revenue home, as opposed to the 57% they take home now. That is a huge chunk of change to give up for the players.
The players countered with a base revenue share as opposed to a percentage. The NHLPA came back to the NHL with an offer that guaranteed the players at least $1.8 billion. The players believe that the revenue has grown from $2.1 billion to $3.3 during the expiration of the deal. The players don’t want to make concessions, citing an increase in revenue. According to the players (and me), if the owners aren’t making money, they should re-examine the way the club handles its own share of revenue.
As of today there are no talks scheduled between the NHL and NHLPA. The Winter Classic in Michigan hasn’t been cancelled as of yet. The game is scheduled on January 1. It would be a huge blow to the NHL to lose the marquee event. Could a deal get done by January 1? Of course, but if nobody is talking, a deal won’t be done any time in the near future.
Not to be outdone by the player video the NHLPA released over the weekend, the National Hockey League have posted a statement of its own regarding the lockout. If you thought the last CBA was great, well you’re in luck! The NHL thinks so and they are asking you for your support on NHL.com.
“Despite the expiration of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the National Hockey League has been, and remains, committed to negotiating around the clock to reach a new CBA that is fair to the Players and to the 30 NHL teams.
Thanks to the conditions fostered by seven seasons under the previous CBA, competitive balance has created arguably the most meaningful regular season in pro sports; a different team has won the Stanley Cup every year; fans and sponsors have agreed the game is at its best, and the League has generated remarkable growth and momentum. While our last CBA negotiation resulted in a seismic change in the League’s economic system, and produced corresponding on-ice benefits, our current negotiation is focused on a fairer and more sustainable division of revenues with the Players — as well as other necessary adjustments consistent with the objectives of the economic system we developed jointly with the NHL Players’ Association seven years ago. Those adjustments are attainable through sensible, focused negotiation — not through rhetoric.
This is a time of year for all attention to be focused on the ice, not on a meeting room. The League, the Clubs and the Players all have a stake in resolving our bargaining issues appropriately and getting the puck dropped as soon as possible. We owe it to each other, to the game and, most of all, to the fans.”
It is hard to argue with the competitive balance, yet this statement just leaves a bad taste in mouth. More to come I am sure.
The NHLPA didn’t waste any time getting out there side of the story. In a public relations move, several players released a video over the weekend campaigning for fan support. It is early, but I suspect that this social media ploy of the new age of technology will be a regular tactic of public relations by the player. It is a smart move for sure.
The NHL has done it again! The NHL has imposed another lockout, the fourth since 1992. The lockout comes just as preseason hockey is about to drop in arenas around the world. Unfortunately for hockey fans, the lockout doesn’t look to have any end in sight.
The biggest problem right now is that there are no negotiations scheduled currently between the NHL and the NHLPA. That is huge! If they won’t talk, how will they settle? It wasn’t too long ago in 2004-05 where the entire season was scrapped. With no talks scheduled, that is a real reality once again.
In the end this all comes down to money. The NHL labor contract expired over the weekend. The owners are looking to reduce the revenue split to a 47% take-home from the players. The union on the other hand would like a base deal in the range of $1.8 billion.
The owners are crying poverty due to poor economic times. Here is an idea. Reduce your ticket prices! The price of a regular season hockey game is just flat out outrageous. Here in Philadelphia, I can go see a Philadelphia Eagles game for less that means more. The NHL has priced out the casual fan and in return, they are having trouble filling seats. Reduce the prices and I can almost guarantee that won’t be a problem.
That is a lot of money to argue over. Unfortunately it will take a long time to come to an agreement. With no meetings on the table, that could be months.