Lockout Dooms NHL
by Abby Lebovitz on Friday, November 16th, 2012
Less than a month before the expected start of the NHL season, the owners of the league’s franchises declared a lockout against the members of the National Hockey League Players’ Association due to a disagreement regarding player salary.
The league has cancelled 327 games so far, causing fans, players, and owners to become upset about the upcoming NHL season. Many fans have started to question why this lockout can’t be resolved. The owners’ key issue is a proposed reduction of player’s guaranteed shares of the team’s income from 57% to under 50%. Other changes the owners hope to enforce include limiting contracts and changing the current free agency rules. Unsurprisingly, the players do not agree with any of these prospective changes to salary and negotiation rules, and these controversies are causing an intense disagreement between the two sides.
At this point, the 2012-2013 NHL season could is scheduled to begin on December 1, 2012 but until an agreement is made the league could push the start back further. On October 18th, the union and the owners attempted to restart talks, but both sides quickly turned away after the Players’ Association refused to accept the framework of the league’s offer, or to bargain with that offer as the baseline. The owners have rejected the union’s attempts at a resolution many times. On a more positive note, the Washington Post claims that after two weeks of no contact, the NHL Deputy Commissioner, Bill Daly, and the Players’ Association special counsel, Steve Fehr, met last Saturday to discuss the key points separating the two sides.
Eventually, one side will surely make adjustments to their baseline terms; failing that, no progress can be made in resolving the lockout. If a resolution does not come soon, however, this season could look similar to the disastrous and non-existent 2004-2005 season.
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