The NHL Announced today the cancellation of games through Nov. 30th. There will not be a full 82 game season in 2012-13, if any games are played at all.
The NHL has squarely tossed this unacceptable results at the feet of the NFLPA. In a statement from released shortly after the NHL’s announcement of the games cancelled NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said:
The National Hockey League deeply regrets having to take this action. By presenting a proposal to the NHLPA that contemplated a fair division of revenues and was responsive to Player concerns regarding the value of their contracts, we had hoped to be able to forge a long-term Collective Bargaining Agreement that would have preserved an 82-game Regular Season for our fans. Unfortunately, that did not occur.
The “fair division in revenue” refers to the 50-50 split of hockey related revenue that the league proposed 10 days ago. This is a significant decrease from last season’s 57-43 split, but much better offers from the league than 43% and 46% offered to the players earlier in the negotiations.
From a public relations standpoint, a 50-50 split with still no deal is a rare victory for the NHL. This deal looks fair. I mean, its 50-50. So we should see the Stanley Cup champs take the ice any day now. However the major sticking points remain limiting the length of contracts to 5 years, and postponing when a player is eligible for unrestricted free agency by one year to age 28. As Americans we demand fairness, and now that this looks fair, fans are demanding hockey.
This announcement crushes Kings fans who are dying to celebrate the Stanley Cup victory and build on the momentum of a year ago. And while its cost every player and franchise money, the Kings franchise has probably lost the most potential revenue and media and fan attention with the loss of every opportunity to see the Cup and players since the month of November is officially cancelled. There is still no collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and NHLPA.