November Pain: NHL Cancels Full Month of Games

The good news just keeps pouring in from the NHL these days (just a bit of sarcasm).  First we learnt that the league pulled their latest offer off the table, meaning any negotiations that do take place are likely to lead to further headaches and stalled discussions.  Now we find out that the NHL has cancelled all scheduled games in the month of November, further reinforcing how far apart these two sides truly are when trying to agree on a new CBA.

So far the league has cancelled all of October and November games, totaling 326 games which amounts to just over one quarter of the regular season.

The players had countered the league’s offer of a 50-50 split on all hockey revenue with three different proposals last Thursday.  But the owners shot down all three offers within three minutes as they remain stern on trying to roll back player’s contracts that were previously signed.  Perhaps there are none more relevant to this than Zach Parise and Ryan Suter of the Wild who signed massive 13-year, $98 million dollar deals back in July.  Now Minnesota owner, Craig Leipold doesn’t appear willing to honor the full terms of the deal he signed off on.

This is just one example of how the owners are not only talking out of both sides of their mouth, but also highlights the greed they have.  There doesn’t appear to be a lot of concessions on behalf of the league, stating that the union was only to negotiate off the league’s proposal and no other offer would be considered.  Sounds like manipulation to me.

The next major announcement that is expected from the league is the cancellation of the Winter Classic that is slated to take place on January 1, 2013 at Michigan Stadium between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs.  With over a hundred thousand fans expected to take in the game along with the HBO series 24/7, the league stands to lose a pile of revenue from this game in itself.  It’s also a segment that is very near and dear to commissioner Gary Bettman, so maybe we’ll see a little bit of panic as the middle of the month approaches and the commissioner may have to start talking about pulling the plug on it.

Regardless, we the fans continue to sit impatiently and stir as this situation continues to grow old and bothersome.  It’s a gloomy November and as Guns n’ Roses said “it’s hard to hold a candle, in the cold November rain.”  Amen to that.

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