NHL Cancels November

On Friday, the NHL released the following statement:

The National Hockey League announced today the cancellation of the 2012-13 regular-season schedule through November 30 because of the absence of a Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NHL Players’ Association and the NHL.

A total of 326 regular-season games – 26.5 percent of the season — were scheduled for Oct. 11 through Nov. 30.

5 thoughts on “NHL Cancels November

  1. The rumor also is that the NHL will cancel the Winter Classic next week. I also read where NBC Sports already paid the NHL in full for the television rights for the 2012-13 season…and that the contract language is such that they don’t get a refund if games or the season are cancelled. So in one big huge sense the owners are sitting pretty…which fuels my persistance claim that this season is over. The owners are unified in changing the revenue structure in hockey…and they ain’t goin’ to budge and are quite willing (and supposedly able) to flush an entire season down the toilet.

    The players? There big mistake was thinking they had a leg to stand on, and that hiring the mega-tough Donald Fehr was their ticket to success in the negotiations. They are completely and totally screwed.

  2. Rufus: A couple things…

    First, the rumor right now is that the NHL, at a press conference on Monday, will cancel the Winter Classic (and, possibly, the All-Star Game). The contract the NHL has with the University of Michigan includes a provision in which the league forfeits a nice dollar amount (I have heard $100,000) to the university if they pull the plug after Nov. 2. So they’ll pull the plug at the last minute, and save their money.

    Second, regarding the NBC contract. The deal between the NHL and NBC’s properties was for a specific number of years, and the NHL has indeed been paid for this year. However, that contract provides that, if the 2012-13 season isn’t played, an additional season would be added to the back end of the contract at the current dollar amount. In that scenario, the league would lose significant money. So keep that in mind while assuming this season won’t happen.

    Finally, to the comment about the owners being unified… they aren’t. And it isn’t close. But the small market owners that are sick of lockouts aren’t enough in numbers or dollars to overwhelm the rich owners that don’t care (see: Philly, Detroit, Montreal, Toronto and even our beloved Blackhawks).

    The players do still believe they have a leg to stand on. And they think Fehr’s the bulldog they need to break even in these negotiations. And you’re right… eventually, they’ll lose. Again. But everything on the other side of the table isn’t as perfect as fans assume.

  3. I’m not on the side of the owners. I’m not on the side of the players. But that said I WILL challenge the notion that the owners aren’t unified. I believe they are completely so. The league is plagued with too many organizations losing money…or so they say. On the other hand there are the “fat cat” clubs, like the Rangers and Hawks. Each group has different financial interests, but both groups are aligned in breaking the players down to accept the owner’s terms near completely.

    Want evidence for how unified the owners are? Listen to the absolute silence across the league. Nary one NHL owner has made public statement or controversial remark regarding labor negotations. They are on “lock down” mode as a group.

    It’s all very pathetic.

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