Sunday, 16 September 2012

Doomsday - NHL CBA Expires - Cam's Thoughts.

At 11:59 PM on September 15th 2012, the unthinkable happened. Just eight years after the locked out 2004-05 season, the owner's ridiculous demands have caused yet another work stoppage. Whilst there are no regular season games cancelled yet, it's a pretty good bet that there will be cancelled games. 
It's been said before but I'll say it again, the people who are hurt the most out of this are the fans. If the lockout continues, we don't get to see the Caps win, we don't get to see the Stanley Cup Final rematch, and most of all we don't get to laugh when the Pens lose.
As a fan over here, whilst I will actually get some sleep this year so my grades will probably go up, there's no AHL or even ECHL standard team that I can realistically watch. Whilst my local pro team is still awesome to watch, it's nowhere near as good as the Caps. In reality, I will have to settle with this and actually playing myself, plus NHL 13. What I don't understand is why we actually really need a CBA. Whenever I explain it to people here, they are completely baffled by the idea - simply because all of our leagues have no CBA to speak of. I understand it is to regulate the league, but is there not a way we can negotiate whilst play is going on? As Brooks Laich said, "it's adults fighting over a kid's game", and I couldn't agree more. In this aspect, the players are guilty too. Whilst they do deserve more money than the owners - you try playing between 82 and 110 games in nine months of one of the most physical sports in the world - they do make a lot of money, even the NHL minimum ($525,000 this past season) is more than most people earn in ten years. There is no reason why they can't agree to a small rollback, as losing a whole season could be worse for them financially anyway.
Another forgotten factor from an NHL lockout is the harm it would do to local economies. Personally, I have been to the Verizon Center, TD Garden and the Bell Centre, and every time I watched a game, I would buy something locally - whatever it was. No NHL games mean less custom for the businesspeople around the arenas, and this will really harm them financially. But is there any thought given to them? No.

My rant's over now - but all I see this as is millionaires fighting with billionaires, over a game I travel thirty miles (more for an away game) to play for no money at all, in fact contributing to the cost of the ice time.

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