June 1, 2011; Vancouver, BC, CANADA; NHL commissioner Gary Bettman speaks at a press conference before game one of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals between the Vancouver Canucks and the Boston Bruins at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE

The Clock Is Ticking On Starting The Season


Labor Day passes with no word on when the next scheduled meetings will take place between the NHL and the NHLPA.  With September 15th slowly creeping up, the realization of a pending lockout becomes more apparent each day.  Friday both sides met with not very much decided after 90 minutes other than, “we are far apart”.

As discussed so often, still at large in these negotiations is how to disperse league wide revenue sharing, which seems to be at the crux of these negotiations.  The NHL sees the game and revenues growing, yet wants to reduce the amount given to players.  Those same owners who while not unified (my viewpoint) continue to dole out massive contracts to players with deals lasting well beyond the proposed five year limit.  On the other side, the players are still signing those contracts for big dollars, with long terms, and expecting to receive at least a respectable piece of the revenue sharing pie.

This threat of another work stoppage seemed unfathomable just a few months ago with the season winding down.  The Bettmans were in no hurry to get a deal done, while the players have said that they are willing to play under the current arrangement until one does.  Keep one thing in mind, this is not a strike, it’s a lockout.  Without a deal, the doors are essentially locked and no formal workouts can begin.

If you’ve not been reading the outstanding work of Michael Grange at Sportsnet, you should.  Scott Burnside from ESPN.com also wrote a good piece about forgetting who’s right and who’s wrong.  There was this article from Michael Traikos from The National Post in mid August.  And Harrison Mooney from Puck Daddy wrote about how the fans can’t do anything about a lockout.

Finally, if you haven’t seen this video which was splendidly put together by Janne Makkonen you should.  And if you did watch it, well then watch it again.  You’ll see Florida Panthers general manger Dale Tallon and Bill Torrey react after losing in the first round of last years playoffs at the 6:13 mark.  Just a few seconds later you’ll see the players reaction on the ice. Things like this might be the only way to see hockey…..for awhile.

Thanks for reading.  We welcome your comments and opinions.

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Tags: National Hockey League

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