Wednesday, October 10, 2012
A Long Lockout Will Kill the NHL?
Thanks again to my peeps for posting this article in my absence.
Will a long lockout kill the NHL? That's a question I've been asking in recent articles about the lockout. I don't think kill is the correct answer. More like damage. What's the difference, you ask? Kill means gone forever. Damage means that the league will be hurt and it might take a long, long time to recuperate from the damage that will be done.
I do think that a long lockout is in store for us fans. I think if the players can stomach a long lockout and are unified in their position, we could lose a whole season and maybe more. For those of us who love watching Andrew Ladd, Evander Kane or Sidney Crosby, we might have to wait until next year to see our favorite players and teams hit the ice.
The NHL owners decided to lockout the players, even though they had the choice to continue playing hockey. The players didn't want the lockout but didn't want to make true concessions either. As this lockout continues, the owners could lose billions of dollars and as Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press states, the owners will want to recoup those losses when they discuss the economic issues during serious negotiations.
Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr are seasoned negotiators who have been through lockouts before. If the players unify and back Fehr, they will have a seasoned individual that has their back and understands the art of negotiating with stubborn owners.
While the owners only care about their pocketbooks, they are taking a gamble. They will win almost everything they want, if the players start caving under the pressure and don't unify. If the players unify and harden their position in response to the owners hard-line approach, they won't lose everything.
At some point, if a whole season is lost and the owners lose 4 billion dollars, they will want to ensure those losses don't continue into another season. If the players show they have the stomach for this and agree to forfeit a whole season, maybe more, the owners will be forced to modify their approach.
If the lockout is long, great damage will be done to the game. Many fans will blame the greedy owners for locking out the players and the fans. Yes, the fans are locked out of NHL buildings across America and it was the owners who did this to them.
It will take decades to repair the damage done by both the players and the owners if a long lockout is in store for the NHL. That will be a shame. It's really sad that the owners and players are acting like mules. They are too stubborn for their own good and the good of the NHL.
It's sad for me to right that the NHL will be greatly damaged. This could have been avoided. The owners didn't have to lockout the players and risk losing billions of dollars. The players could have provided the owners with a proposal that was more tolerable.
Both sides are to blame for this mess. A mess created by people who are acting like mules!