NHL Lockout to Effect Regular Hawks Season

Courtesy of Chicago Black Hawks

By Katie Kelly – Staff Writer

As the leaves begin to fall off the trees, hockey pucks typically drop on the ice. However, thanks to the NHL lockout it doesn’t look like it will happen this fall. With no end in sight, the players and their fans are getting discouraged about the current season.
The NHL and the National Hockey League Players Association (NHLPA) cannot figure out away to divide $3.3 million in past years revenue. The lockout went into effect Sept. 16, at 12:01 a.m. The central issue in this standoff is how to divide the league’s revenues. According to ESPN, players currently receive 57% of hockey-related revenues. The NHL’s proposal would decrease the number to 47% by the end of a six-year term.
It is a choice by the owners that the league is on lockout. The NHLPA believes that games could have been played and negotiations could have taken place on the side. They could have figured out this economic issue without effecting the season. Not only are fans and players upset about the lockout, but the NHL is reported to be missing out on over $100 million in revenue from the missed pre-season games.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly claims, “We remain committed to doing everything in our power to forge an agreement that is fair to the players, fair to the teams, and good for our fans. This is not about ‘winning’ or ‘loosing’ a negotiation. This is about finding a solution that preserves the long-term health and stability of the league and the game. We are committed to getting this done”.
As of Oct. 4, the season has been canceled up until games scheduled through Oct. 24, which is when the unions hope to have the lockout finalized. According to Don Fehr, Union executive director, “The definition of ‘no progress’ that comes out of the NHL offices seems to be: ‘They didn’t give us what we want yet.”
The NHLPA created a YouTube video with a few players that expressed their thoughts about the lockout. James Reimer, goalie of the Toronto Maple Leafs says, “We love the game, we love to play…we don’t want a lockout, we want to play. This isn’t where we want to be. We would much rather be on the ice that’s for sure.” Jonathan Toews, the captain of our Chicago Blackhawks, agrees with fellow player Reimer and also adds in, “We’re working hard where we are tying to get to that point, like I said things will be more simple and we can just get back to playing hockey and doing what we do best. To see the complete video, search A Message from the Players to the Fans about the NHL Lockout on YouTube.
There is no end in sight for the lockout. No comments have been made whether or not the lost games will be re-scheduled and made up. The typical 82 games that make up a season may be cut in half if the NHL and NHLPA don’t reach an agreement soon. Both the NHL and NHLPA are hoping to avoid another 04-05 season where the whole season was canceled due to a lockout. It was the first time since 1919 that the Stanley Cup was not awarded.
Anyone who was lucky enough to get tickets to the Hawks opening night on Oct. 13 will be able to exchange them for the new opening night, if and when it takes place. All other tickets for this season will be refunded. Visit Blackhawks.com for more information.