Important Notice

Sorry, this is still in maintenance!

Hi and welcome to my blog!

If you are a first-time visitor, or looking for the posts I consider most important ('cause I'm posting a lot), please go here or click "About Me" at the top of the page!
Otherwise just have fun!

Dienstag, 12. Februar 2013

126 Days of no hockey. 510 games lost. Was that all really necessary?

 Here is my article from the January issue that was messed up in print :D
Yes, say the players and owners. As the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) ran out in September, the NHL and the NHLPA met behind the negotiation tables with varying success. More than once inside sources spoke of promising proposals, which were only shot down again in the end.

Finally, after 113 days of meetings, stoppages of contact and 16-hour power session, the two sides reached a ‘tentative agreement on a ten year CBA’. The new deal splits the revenue 50%-50% between owners and players, which is a recession of 7% for the latter group. Other changes include sterner rules regarding the salary cap with punishment for trying to circumvent it by giving players multi-million deals with years of only $1 million tacked to the end to keep the cap hit down.

The deal was almost last minute; only a few days more and the entire season would have had to be cancelled. The NHL set the deadline for an agreement for January 11, reasoning that if they couldn’t start by January 19, the season would be too short. 

The season is shortened as it is with the 30 teams playing 48 games each instead of the usual 82 before the playoffs. What determines this year who plays in the playoffs isn't how long the teams can endure and how well they can preserve their energy. This year what matters is how well the team starts off at the beginning of the season. Since there is less time, more back-to-back games will be played, inviting injury. Some teams also have the advantage of players who are already warmed up, having played in Switzerland like Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks) and Tyler Seguin (Boston Bruins), Germany like Claude Giroux and Daniel Brière (Philadelphia Flyers) or the KHL as several Russian stars such as Alexander Ovechkin (Washington Capitals) or Evgeni Malkin (Pittsburgh Penguins) have done.

One question, however, remains: Will the fans come back?
The reactions were mixed after the lockout ended two weeks ago. Some fans were overjoyed that hockey was back. Some were, maybe rightly, not so amused with the NHL's antics. 

Gary Bettman, commissioner for the NHL and one of the two main figures involved in the lockout business, has already apologized. So have some of the teams. But will it be enough? Will a simple apology get back fans who have been angered by the second lockout in 8 years?

Keine Kommentare:

Kommentar veröffentlichen

Due to incredible amounts of spam I had to put the security question back on - I'm sorry :)