In the hockey world more free agency news has surfaced. LA has signed Dwight King for another two years, The Caps sign Mike Green for another three years, The Blues have resigned Porter, Peluso and Sonne, and the Buffalo Sabres have signed both Tarnasky and Brennan. This is all well and good, if there is a hockey season come October.
Meetings have been happening to talk about what to do about the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) which was determined in the last player lockout, and will expire in September. So that means that some changes are going to have to happen. It also means that the Owners and the Players Association need to come to some sort of agreement. So far, one hasn’t been reached especially since the Owners drew first blood by asking for a 11% salary cut for all players. Actually they asking to decrease the salary cap so it’s less than it already is, meaning that most likely all the players will have to take a cut in order to do this. Hockey already doesn’t have a lot of money, which is why these negotiations are happening, and compared to other professional athletes they don’t make as much, so this is definitely not boding well.
Of course this is not the only demands that the owners are calling for. As of right now a player has to be in the NHL for 7 years in order to become an unrestricted free agent, now the owners want that increased to 10 years. Free Agents tend to get the big bucks, so we can see that this is another way to keep the player revenue down. They also are calling for no more salary arbitration, which is definitely not going to happen. Right now the entry-level contracts are a minimum of 3 years, but the owners want to make it five, again limiting the amount a player can make as a rookie.
They only demand the owners have asked for that kind of makes sense is limiting contracts to five years. It has it’s pros and cons, but half a decade is a decent among of time to play for one hockey club. It might be good because sometimes you get stuck with a mediocre goaltender for 9 years and have to sign away your captain and one of your top goal scorers. It’s not a pretty sight for the players and the fans.
Some reporters are already reporting that a lockout is more than likely going to happen, but negotiations are still happening. If sources are correct, the two parties should be meeting for a second time sometime this week. The NHLPA is more than likely going to reject all of these demands, but hopefully the two parties will eventually come to a middle ground.
Another lockout would be really bad for the league, especially since they are starting to gain more attention in America and in the West. I feel like without a season this year new fans will go back to their old standby sports and forget about hockey again. For us fans, it will be really bad, I mean what am I going to blog about then? I might literally go insane. So there better be a season next October.