The NHL and the NHLPA have been playing a dangerous tennis match that has been locked at deuce for some time now. Sure, the sides have had the advantage at one point or the other, but the end game is we are looking at the lockout hitting 120 days before we see a resolution.
The only problem is, with the latest serve from the NHL – the owners have put themselves in a shootout scenario instead of overtime – they just put a deadline on the lockout, and want things started by January 19th.
Now this is a blessing in disguise for me – there hasn’t been much to talk about hockey wise – unless you want to follow the AHL or what happening internationally – which has been fun; hockey starting on January 19th – is a good thing for my poor lockout induced writers block, but bad things in real life. How do I explain to my wife that opening night happens on her birthday? The start of hockey season might just be the start of me sleeping on the couch season (might be a good time to upgrade the cable package to include the NHL Network – Happy Birthday me).
This is a great PR move by the NHL, putting a date on negotiations gives fans something to look forward to – if the deal gets signed, we are instantly transported back to September, and the season starts in 20 days. Granted we are looking at a 48 game schedule (If the New Jersey Devils win the Cup in the second shortened season can we just say they won once? I mean, they won have in 1995 and half in 2013?) If the players balk at this deal and rebut with something radical – the owners can look at the fans and say this was the players fault.
Either way – both sides are getting antsy and I don’t think they will sacrifice a season, hell I think for not being as far apart as the last lockout, that Lockout 2012 has lasted more than it should have. Players want to play and make money, and owners have to be tired of empty arena’s not churning out revenue.
It still has the ability to get ugly, and we are certainly not out of the bloody waters – but it appears we are closer to a shooting resolution.