Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

To Play Or Not To Play - That Is The Question

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Depending on where you get your information – NHL and NHLPA talks are at an impasse, or they are continuing in secret behind closed doors with little information leaking out from the meetings. Either way with just over nine days until the September 15th deadline – we are no closer to hockey.  If your still in denial about the fact the 15th isn’t a deadline, the league is prepared to, while not say cancel the start of the season on the 15th, they are letting arena’s know they can book dates through 10-15-12 if a deal is not signed.

Where both sides of the CBA debacle stand to lose something if the lockout occurs – I tend to agree with a lot of what Adler is saying in this article – not so much that I have insider information to make known to confirm what he is writing about, but rather it makes sense.

Players are caught between a rock and a hard place – they can play hardball with the NHL, but when push comes to shove, they are the ones that are losing out, because when the league locks the doors on the 2012-2013 season, only the players are losing out on money.  The NHL will still generate revenue through the sale of merchandise, teams will still earn revenue through the use of their arena’s, and organizations like the Buffalo Sabres will still have their own farm team to rely on.  Granted, were not taking full on money here, but better than what the players will be making.

Not every player will suffer through their wallets- Derek Roy will get his paycheck one way or another because he hit the LTIR before the lockout. Given Roy’s past attitude, he’s probably not worrying as September 15th gets closer with no resolution in sight with that guaranteed check – that’s just the type of guy Roy is.

Neither side wants to budge in the negotiations – at this points its a game.  The fans are stuck on the outside, and both sides are going to play that card.  The players will play on the empathy of the fans that they are being taken advantage of, the league is going to say they are stalling by not negotiating.  We have been down this road recently so we know what tactics are left.

As pointed out in Adler’s article though, while the economics of the lockout are the same, the NHL and NHLPA have different dance partners this time (at least on the NHLPA side) and they are more than apt to working out a deal.  While we will lose some of the season at this point, were not looking at long term woes here.

While it may seem all doom and gloom, there are factors in play that will force the hand of both sides this time to get a deal done and award a 2013 Stanley Cup champion.  For the league its the Phoenix Factor, for the players its the pay check, for both sides, it should be for the good of the fans, who are growing weary of the arguments between sports owners and sports players, especially in a league where the term lockout is household dinner conversation.


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Tags: Cba Lockout NHL Nhlpa

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