General discussion


NHL is dead!....Long live the NHL.

By Garion11 · news services

NEW YORK -- With its do-or-die deadline come and gone and no deal in sight, the NHL circled Wednesday as the day it would call off what little was left of a decimated season, The Associated Press reported Monday.

Barring a last-minute agreement, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman still planned to cancel the remaining games, a source close to the negotiations said on condition of anonymity. The NHL announced that Bettman would speak at a news conference Wednesday in New York but declined to give details.

After NHL chief legal officer Bill Daly met Monday evening with union senior director Ted Saskin, the league issued a statement saying that "no progress was made in the collective bargaining process" and declined further comment.

If the season is canceled, the NHL would become the first major professional league in North America to lose an entire season because of a labor dispute. The Stanley Cup has been awarded every year since 1**9, when a flu epidemic canceled the finals.

But more than two-thirds of the season and the All-Star Game have already been lost to a lockout that started Sept. 16. The major stumbling block to an agreement has been the league's insistence on a salary cap.

Bettman said the sides needed to start putting a deal on paper by last weekend if the NHL was going to hold a 28-game season and a full 16-team playoff. The regular season is normally 82 games.

"It is clear to me that if we're not working on a written document by this weekend, I don't see how we can play any semblance of a season," Bettman said last week. "Obviously we will listen to everything the union has to say, but we've given all we can give and gone as far as we can go."

Even a session with a federal mediator Sunday in Washington couldn't produce an agreement.

Bettman said the 30 NHL teams need to have cost certainty to survive and the only way he could guarantee that was with a salary cap that linked league revenues to player costs.

The league has said teams lost $273 million in 2002-03 and $224 million last season, and an economic study commissioned by the NHL found that players get 75 percent of league revenues. The union has challenged those figures.

A cap was an automatic deal-breaker for the union even though it agreed that the financial landscape was flawed. The players' association contended that there are many other ways to fix it.

"There is no question the system has to change," said New Jersey Devils president Lou Lamoriello, who took part in earlier negotiating sessions. "We just have to keep working to find a solution. It's unfortunate we have to come this.

"If the season does end, we can't stop. We have to continue working at this and get it rectified as soon as we possibly can," he said.

Monday, the 152nd day of the lockout, was to have been the last day of the All-Star break; the festivities in Atlanta were called off months earlier. So far, 824 of the 1,230 regular-season games have been lost.

"Everybody has to take responsibility," Lamoriello said.

The sides have traded proposals throughout the lockout, but the salary cap has always been the sticking point. Other issues such as arbitration, revenue sharing and rookie caps never reached the true negotiating stage because the sides couldn't agree on the big issue.

In recent days, the union and league seemed adamant that they wouldn't budge.

"We're done," Saskin said Thursday after talks broke off.

On Sunday, Daly said: "We will not be reaching out to them."

Not really surprised. After decades of mismanagement by owners, players, and league things have reached a fina impasse. Oh well, it was a fun sport to watch while it lasted.

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Oh No!

by MCS-1 In reply to NHL is dead!....Long live ...

This really isn't the place to talk about NHL, but ...

Gee, think of all them poor hockey players who won't get paid a 'scadillion' dollars to shoot a puck around. I wonder if they'll be able to live on the lousy few million they have tucked away in a bank? Poor guys ....

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Not that I completely disagree, however..

by TomSal In reply to Oh No!

The NHL is the lowest paid of the major sports in this country (NFL, MLB and NBA)...but point taken they still get lots of money for a sport.

Even though I am an NHL fan and I think its (by far) the most enjoyable of the 4 major sports to watch.

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But it doesn't draw enough revenue

by jdclyde In reply to Not that I completely dis ...

to justify the major salaries.

Basketball and football bring in more money so there is more to throw around on players.

(unless you are the lions, they seem to think a winning team would cost too much)

The bad thing about all this, I was just starting to get into hockey.

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I do agree

by MCS-1 In reply to Not that I completely dis ...

I agree with you 100% .... what I guess I should of said is .... nobody, in ANY sport, should be getting paid the kind of money they do.
I used to play Junior 'B' hockey - I love the sport, I watch the sport, and support it .... but again, it's not worth the kind of money they get. I realize a big chunk of this goes to owners, administration, stadiums, .... but on that note - they should be making less too. I really think it's sickening going to Ottawa or Toronto (I'm in the middle) and paying $400.00+ (CAD) for two of us for one night out.

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I just stick to the cheap seats

by TomSal In reply to I do agree

I can't afford the expensive seats , I just get the $40 or $42 a piece tickets whatever the Flyers charged last time there was a season...and they are good enough for me.

As a note that's one of the major "beefs" the league is in the position they are in now...the NHL is claiming players see as much as 75% of all profits, mean while the players union is saying those calculations are all wrong.

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Oh No. How am I going to get my parcels delivered?

by neilb@uk In reply to NHL is dead!....Long live ...

Ooops. That's DHL, isn't it. So, is this another of your continent's minority sports then?

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Well I guess you would

by jdclyde In reply to Oh No. How am I going to ...

be SOL if you wanted NHL to do the job of DHL because they don't even do the job of CHL so I will sit here and lol and rotf while people poke me with sticks.

(no sporks)

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by Salamander In reply to Well I guess you would

That's no fun. Why can't we use sporks?

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Well you can use sporks Salamander, if...

by TomSal In reply to Well

you just leave the corks on the end of them.

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by Salamander In reply to Well you can use sporks S ...

Y'all are no fun.

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