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Friday, October 05, 2012

NHL Season Takes a Turn for the (Even) Worse

Posted at 09:57 AM

As many of you probably know by now, the National Hockey League announced the cancellation of regular season games through October 24 on Thursday. Between the thirty clubs, that is a total of 82 games of hockey that already will not be played in 2012-13. Needless to say, the situation is getting pretty ugly for everyone involved in the sport right now. 

A few months ago, back when there was that ounce of hope left that a deal would get done before September, we said what's the worst that could happen? A delayed start? And we went on to look at how that would actually end up benefiting the New York Rangers in the long-run of the upcoming season. However, the worst that could happen is no longer a delayed start. With negotiations not going much of anywhere and a proposal not made in nearly a month from either side, the question now becomes whether there will be a 2012-13 hockey season at all. 

While it is premature to go ahead and conclude that this season is already a thing of the past, it is certainly not too early to begin worrying about whether it is going to happen or not. Donald Fehr, head of the NHLPA, made a great point yesterday in saying that if the owners/League actually cared about the sport, the season would be given the okay under old CBA terms until a new one is worked out. While saying that they don't care may be a bit extreme, he makes a legitimate point. I think with this you can definitely now see the greed in the owners (well, some of them because you do not want to falsely generalize) and that they want to squeeze every last penny into their pockets before the next season begins. 

In reality, the players were given an ultimatum: Either take tremendous pay cuts and accept absurd contract limitations/restrictions, or we lock you out and give the cold shoulder. 

That's simply unfair, but allow me to make myself clear: There's a good chance the NHLPA's demands are a tad extreme as well, so they are not completely off the hook here. 

But that's just it. Each side wants more than they should get while giving the other less than what is wanted, and since the difference in views is so far apart, they are reluctant to make proposals in regard to economic issues because of the feud that will again spark from it. 

And now because of all this, more and more players are headed overseas and just giving up on the mess that has unfolded here in North America. As far as the Rangers go, Carl Hagelin is still the last to jump ship a week ago, but I expect that to change soon, especially after yesterday's news. 

And just to let you all know how frustrated the players are, I will leave you with this ever depressing tweet from goalie Henrik  Lundqvist...


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