Monday, October 29, 2012

NHL cancels more games...Winter Classic could be next

We are still at a standstill in the CBA talks and no agreement is close to happening. The NHL announced the cancellation of regular season games through November 30th. This now includes 326 regular season games (26.5% of the season) that were scheduled to take place from October 1st to November 30th. Now there are rumors that the NHL may announce the cancellation of the Winter Classic by this Thursday.
I have stressed the negative effects this is having on the brand image of the league. The NHL as a whole can't afford anymore of this, but there doesn't seem to be any hope of having a season even (at this rate).

All I can say at this point is that this all has become ridiculous. If there is a season, the league will be in even more financial trouble. Teams are hurting and the lockout is not helping. On paper only three teams are making a profit (Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, and New York Rangers).

Furthermore  the Winter Classic is huge for the NHL and has boosted the league's awareness around the United States. It has brought hockey into the homes of millions all over. If the Winter Classic is cancelled the NHL is just digging an already deep hole for themselves to climb out of. My question is, what will it take for both the NHL and NHLPA to see what is happening to the sport of hockey, the one they claim to love. The focus should be about what benefits the league as a whole, not just a few. Also, the fans that drive the sport and keep it going. They are the ones that has the league making a profit.

Looks like that has been lost to the NHL and NHLPA. The good of the overall league and the fans. This lockout is hurting the NHL, but the KHL is benefiting from it. They are expanding and even have games that are being televised on ESPN 3. Some players are thinking of staying in the KHL, even Ovechkin. Ovechkin said that if he didn't like the new CBA that he would stay in the KHL and not return to the NHL.

Only time will tell what the true impact of this lockout will be on the NHL. Even if that means new leadership for the NHL that will boost the league back up and prevent another lockout. Wouldn't that be amazing, one time that the NHL doesn't have a lockout happen.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

No Hope Left

A full 82 game NHL season is very unlikely and the deadline for an agreement that would grant us a full season is upon us. The NHL last week offered a 50/50 split in revenue and it looked like we were close to a deal. It was the best deal the NHL has purpose to the NHLPA and everyone was excited that there was a chance a new deal was close. That was not the case when the NHL and NHLPA met in Toronto and the NHLPA instead offered three counter offers. Bettman commented on the three offers and said that they were not even on the same level. They would have to sign an agreement by tomorrow to have a full season starting November 1st. The NHL ended up canceling games up to that point in hopes of having an agreement. That hope is now basically gone, the NHL and NHLPA are not going to all of a sudden say that they agree and sign a deal tonight. The next question is how many games are going to be cut out of the regular season schedule? Is there going to be a Winter Classic, All Star game or even a season? The NHL and NHLPA are not only damaging fans perception, but the league. They are going to be losing millions with refunding season ticket holders and others that have already bought their tickets, not to mention unsold tickets. Not only are they losing revenue with tickets, but the fan base will not grow and there is a chance fans will move on to a more stable sport. The NHL and NHLPA need to get the big picture and figure out that it is not all about them. The fans are the ones that buy tickets and drive a sport league, tick them off and you are in trouble. Lets see how long the NHL and NHLPA keep up this little fight against each other, maybe they need a new person coming in there and opening there eyes up. Only time will tell.

Quick note: The New York Islanders will be moving to Brooklyn. Anyone shocked? Not really.    

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

NHL cancels beginning of 2012-13 season

The NHL has announced the cancellation of the 2012-13 beginning season schedule through October 24th, 2012.
There goes the panic of trying to get to an agreement before the season openers. It is like they were sitting back saying, "We have time, oh crap no we don't! Lets make time." Alright so they didn't really say that, but it feels like they did. The logical question is, when are they going to talk? When I mean talk, I mean about the core economic issues. That is the heart of the NHL and NHLPA's disagreement. These talks are few and far between and it has become annoying. I am sure I am not the only one ticked at this point.
Lets shift gears for a moment and think what is the common factor between all three of the NHL lockouts (1994-95, 04-05, 12-13). DING, DING, Gary Bettman! Don't get me wrong he has done a lot for the league, it has grown and become even more successful. However, he has dealt with all this lockouts. Everytime the league has had some type of a lockout and it doesn't look fatterning on the resume.
You know at first I wasn't going to choose a side, but after all this crap I have had enough and the NHL has ticked me off. I love hockey and I just want to have a season. The NHL is coming off as the bad guy and I have to say they are. It seems like they are sticking up their noses at the fans. I want a season and soon, so the NHL and the NHLPA need to grow up and act like adults (putting their egos aside). Then we can get back to watching hockey and I can write post on how awesome the Pens are.

Geno adjusting well to the KHL

The lockout hasn't seemed to affected Geno's game. He scored a sweet goal to help the Metallurg Magnitogorsk (KHL) in their 3-0 win over Amur on Monday! This should be happening here in the United States, where all hockey fans can see it live.