Again, nothing is set in stone, so hockey fans better not be steaming as they read this. So far NO LOCKOUT has been announced, but in lieu of recent events there is the likely fact that it will happen. Philadelphia Flyers owner Ed Snider has even mentioned that he thinks it’s inevitable. Snider is one of the rare owners who believes the players don’t get paid enough, so if he’s calling it now it’s more than likely that it will happen. Still we’re pretty much going to be biting our nails until September 15th.
So other than Snider’s opinions about it there have been some other news in the negotiation process that is foreshadowing it. Firstly, the two parties are still arguing about terms of economical concerns and hockey concerns (player safety, travel, etc). More recently, one of the meetings that was supposed to occur in the Toronto headquarters of the union was cancelled. Not a good sign about how things are working out, and then when they did meet it was only for 90 minutes which does not seem really good if you’re trying to come up with an agreement to a CBA.
The NHLPA has stated that there aren’t surprised by the NHL’s threat of a lockout. The problem with the NHL threatening a potential lockout and some of the reasons that players have been speaking out about why this issue is so frustrating is that the NHL decided on this CBA. They created it and now they are whining that they don’t like it and that even more cutbacks have to happen. However, these cutbacks are happening on the players parts.
When you look at the numbers it’s interesting to see that the commissioner has gotten a $5 Million raise in his salary since the last lockout in ’04. That’s really interesting. So will he take a 24% salary cut with the players if the NHL gets their way? Probably not and that’s the problem, especially since all this revenue they are arguing about is paid for by the fans. And who will the lockout effect? The fans. Which is why there are already a few petitions online about this potential lockout.
Things are not looking good hockey fans, but it’s not September 15th yet. Hang in there. If there is a lockout, there is no way it will be a cancellation of an entire season like in the 2004-2005. Maybe a two month process, and hockey will return in December. Let’s hope this doesn’t happen, the puck needs to drop in October.