NHL owners and team players could not reach a collective bargaining agreement before Saturday’s midnight deadline; that failure means an NHL Lockout is now underway.
The regular NHL season is slated to begin in approximately one months time.
Players have demanded that owners share more of the leagues $3.3 billion in revenue, while owners have looked for ways to slash “hockey-related revenue” received from NHL players.
At ESPN columnist Scott Burnside calls the lockout “colossal stupidity” on the part of owners and players. Burnside writes:
“For the second time in eight years, the sport that loves to claim its fans are the best in the world closes its doors to those fans, with guesses ranging from weeks to months to an entire season as to when it might return.”
Many top NHL players have already voiced their desire to play in European leagues should no deal be reached in time to save the season. As Bleacher Report points out, not every single player will be accepted to the European leagues.
The last NHL lockout occurred eight years ago and led to the forfeiture of the entire 2004-2005 NHL season.
NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said of the failed talks:
“We talked with the union this morning, and in light of the fact that they have nothing new to offer, or any substantive response to our last proposal, there would be nothing gained by convening a bargaining session at this time. I’m sure that we will remain in contact in the coming days.”
The NHL is the third major sports league to force a lockout in the last 18 months. A good chunk of the NBA season was lost over the same revenue sharing issues, and NFL referees continue to be replaced by temporary staff.
Do you think NHL players are being greedy, or should league owners work to split revenue with its employees?