As I type this I should be watching the third period of the Pittsburgh Penguins/New Jersey Devils game. But I’m not. It has been 4 months, 23 days, 1 hour and 10 minutes since the last NHL goal was scored. The 2012-2013 season was set to open on October 11, 2012.
The NHL locked out players on September 16, 2012 at 12:00 a.m. The NHL & NHLPA knew the CBA ended on September 15, 2012 way back in 2005. That means they knew in June 2012. But no hurry to get anything done. And still there is apparently no hurry to get anything done.
I don’t know all the particulars they are disputing. I know a chunk of it has to do with Hockey Related Revenue and the honoring of all signed contracts. It is a money game, as everything is and while both sides complain of losing money, it is not enough to get something done.
History repeats itself. That is the old adage. Sometimes we forget because the first event was decades ago, but this is the second lockout in the last eight years.
Both sides are quick to point out that the fans are the ones most hurt by the situation. But neither side seems to want to change that. The meetings they have had have never lasted beyond two hours I don’t think. Two hours is sometimes how long it takes a group of us at work to decide where to go for lunch on Friday. Two hours is a quarter of a normal workday. Two hours is the commute for some of the staff members of the league and teams that are locked out. Two hours is NOT enough time to settle anything, let alone a billion dollar plus industry.
The PA says the owners are taking a hard line, the owners say the PA are not willing to listen. Who is right, who is wrong? Both? Neither?
They have cancelled the first two months of the season. They have cancelled the Winter Classic. The next cancellation will likely be December games or the All Star Game. One thing I think all fans can agree on is that the cancellation of the All Star Game is no big deal. My question is, at what point do they just cancel the season? Do they already know there is no hope? Are they stringing the fans along? Are they toying with us as they dangle this season by cancelling two/three/four weeks at a time?
I thought we were supposed to live and learn. To learn from past mistakes. So why didn’t the NHL learn from the last round of negotiations? Why didn’t they start negotiating early? Will there be any fans left to watch the games if and when they do return? When do diehard fans give up hope?