The NHL has a deadline of October 25th to strike a deal so that the season can start by November 2nd. If a deal is completed by the 25th, teams would be able to hold training camp for one week, and add one extra game every 5 weeks to their schedule to make up for all of the games that have been lost in the last 3 weeks.
Optimism is very high at the moment, as the NHL made an offer to the players union on Tuesday that was highlighted by a proposed 50/50 split in hockey related revenue between the owners and players. The previous split was 57/43 in favor of the players.
I am not among the optimists. Seeing is believing. As long as there are no actual NHL games being played, my fury is sustained. Both sides could have been working out a deal a LONG time ago. They also could have acted as if an agreement was important when a lockout appeared to be imminent; instead, both sides dragged their feet, much to the chagrin of hockey fans. Both sides seemed to quickly forget exactly where the money that they are arguing about comes from: you and me.
A 50/50 split in HRR sounds great to the average person. Yet, as the saying goes, the devil is in the details. Ever see one of those weight loss commercials? “Becky lost 85 pounds! John lost 49 pounds!” While the pictures of Becky and John holding clown-sized pants flash on the screen, at the bottom of the screen is tiny print: “average users lose 3 pounds.” The average person doesn’t typically take the time to comb through the miniature lettering, and it is quite possible that the NHL and the NHLPA will continue to argue over the fine print.
The sides are scheduled to meet today in Toronto, as the union will respond to the NHL’s offer. After today, the sides will have one week to reach an agreement to save the 82-game season. Hockey may be the fastest sport in the world, but at the pace they have been going, it does not seem too likely that an agreement will be reached within 7 days.
Go eat some cookies.