Monday, October 1, 2012

0 NHL and NHLPA negotiations continue


By Justin Koehn

Over the weekend, the NHL and NHLPA met to discuss the collective bargaining agreement that expired on Sept. 16, thus forcing the league to lockout the players. While some analysts are reporting things are moving ahead of schedule compared to the 2004-2005 lockout bargaining, it appears even meeting after the last three days in a row nothing was discussed concerning money issues which are ultimately the main issue at hand. 

What is known at this time, according to the AP, NHL.com, and the CBC, is they did discuss health and safety, medical care, and drug testing procedures. These are areas that will be written into the new CBA, but still leaves us with the question of how they are going to split the revenues between the league and the players, which allegedly exceeds $3 billion. Both parties are expected to meet again on Tuesday in New York to continue negotiations. 

The 2012-2013 season is set to kickoff in ten short days, and with no CBA in place we are getting closer to hearing the NHL announce the cancellation of regular season games. While some games would be better than none, the fans are left in limbo wondering when the season will actually start, and the cities that house the teams are wondering how they are going to make up lost revenue if no games are played at all. 

From the larger market teams like the Red Wings and Flyers, all the way down to smaller market teams like the Blue Jackets and Predators, the lack of hockey this season would make a negative impact around the league as far as city budgets go. Not only does the money come though the arenas, but also through local businesses such as restaurants and hotels from locals as well as traveling fans. 

Hopefully something will come out of the meetings this week and we will hear some good news, but I wouldn't expect something quickly as it doesn't appear anyone is close to agreement on the money side of things. If they do in fact start canceling regular season games they will be nixed in two week blocks, which would start happening very soon. 

This is the time of year we are getting ramped up to watch some freaking hockey. Instead we are left listening to war mongering and money disputes. It could soon be time to get out your copy NHL 13 and play the season for yourself, or keep it real with a nice session of rod hockey. 

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