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Monday debate: another lost season?

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We're closing in on the scheduled start of the regular season, so let's throw the question out there:

Will there be an NHL season?

Word is the next week to 10 days in the CBA talks will be critical. It's possible there could be a repeat of 2004-2005, when they shut it down for a season.

What do you think? Deja vu? The floor is open



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Way off Subject

I am having a small pity party.  I am a 70 year old gal that loves hockey.  The possibility of losing a whole season really irritates me because my years of being physically able to deal with the traffic getting to the games, the long walk to your seat and the overall expense of the games in these economic conditions, etc., are very limited. I resent being denied one of the true joys of my life right now.  OK. rant over.....sorry for taking up the space.

KHL to televise games on ESPN!

Well owners and players, you are losing out to the KHL right now.  They will be televising 5 games this month and have more in the works, per the story on  Sad to see the day we watch KHL over NHL but, hockey is hockey!!!

You are losing out NHL!  Get it together!!!!!

Bettman, Fehr and Dual Lockout Strategies

Bettman is the only NHL Commissioner to have a lockout. He now has achieved three lockouts, and one lost season. He is well on his way toward the second lost season.  His strategy is to use lockouts to enhance the pressure on the players.

  Fehr has also adopted, I think very foolishly, a lockout strategy.  The more money the owners lose, the more aggressive Bettman can become in justifying his own existence as the NHL Commissioner.  

  With Bettman and Fehr so determined to prove they can best the other, there's no sign of compromise.  I would be very pleasantly surprised if there is any kind of NHL hockey season in 2012-2013.  I doubt there is a 5% of starting on time.  I think there is about a 10% chance of having an NHL hockey season at all.  


It seems as if both sides

It seems as if both sides are trying to  meet, even if they do not intend on budging from their positions. That  shows me they at least  understand the damage a long lockout would do to the NHL. I  think they need to agree on a third party to come in and act as an arbitratior. Both sides, while willing to meet, seem too far apart to bridge the gap on their own. I'd even go as far as saying they get two arbitratiors - both sides pick one - and be willing to split the difference. If something is not signed this week, I doubt there will be hockey before the New Year.  If they don't agree on a CBA by the end of October, I'd say no hockey this year. That would be uttery foolish on both their parts, as hockey has gained some great momentum over the last few years, as evident by the big NBC contract, and in our case, a new Fox Sports deal for the Canes. If  both sides want to drop kick hockey backwards 15-20 years, then keep it up. A season lost will have a far bigger effect on the fan base than the last time they took their puck and went home. The majority of the teams are in the USA, where fans have many choices of sports to watch, and Canada has  a great amount of OHL/QMJHL/ WHL ... junior hockey to watch. Very good and entertaining. US markets with AHL teams may hardly notice the NHL has quit, except for the higher quality of play from NHL players.  Heck, if we could see Checkers games in Raleigh on Directv I'd be fine.  The owners and players need to have a clear idea of where the game is at this point in history and not regress it, because every day that goes by is another step DOWN the ladder.

Positive Developments

The fact that Fehr and Bettman and meeting again today when they weren't scheduled to do so is a good sign.  The lack of posturing is another good sign that some kind of progress is being made.  I say we'll hear something within the next 48 hours that will either be good or bad.  They may work this out.  

positive developments..

I agree with you about the next 48 hours.  The only way for this to come to a successful conclusion is for certain owners to be swallowed up by the earth.  The Gang of Five (apologies to the Gang of Four {some may get my historical reference}), Illitch, Leondsis, Dolan, Snider, and the leader Jacobs, are dead set against any sharing.  They seem intent on dragging the league down the cesspool. Four of them won't lose money no matter what.  Illitch can just increase the price of the pizza.  Jacobs (Deleware North), increase concession prices. Dolan (Cable Vision) and Snider (Comcast) the price of their product.  They have theirs and don't care a lick.  I'm trying my best to keep a positive outlook but with each passing day the outlook looks gloomier and gloomier.

I don't agree!

I just listened to the comments made by Daly and Fehr and, where they are meeting, both said they are talking about things that have no impact on the lockout.  So, if hockey is played this year, which I doubt it will be, the Winter Classic is my pick.  This is a high revenue game and they don't want to miss that.  But, again, I don't see hockey at all this year.

Here's to hoping!!!

I used to go to clubs when I

I used to go to clubs when I was young and watch all the girls dance to Gang of Four's song I love the Men in Uniform ! Not much for dancing, but enjoyed hanging out with friends and watching all the  New  Wave girls dance.   Guess that dates me, huh? 

No Season

No season--the players made it clear when they hired Fehr they were going to play hardball.  The owners and Bettman know they aren't perceived well, the sport has been doing well and money has been coming in--many owners probably like what the players are suggesting for more revenue.  Hence Bettman coming forward with two proposals, both coming close to a middle ground most feel is appropriate and ageeable--without goinig all the way.  What one does in negotiations.

Fehr on the other hand hasn't budged much at all.  He wants to win, make his own personal record better, and get the players back some power after the previous lock out.  That creates a problem--unless he shows a willingness to negotiate, come down from the players original position, and give up the fight to keep 57% of HRR, then there will be no more negotiations...

...because the owners aren't going to go for giving the players more than 50% long term, and therefore will not come back with another proposal since their last one got to 49%--time for the players to come down.   Fehr will not for tooooooo long.

And sadly, the players have less leverage than the owners still.  I believe the players best time to negotiate is now--if they wait too long and cause the cancellation of the season and the winter classic, the owners will want that financial loss back out of the players' hides.  And they'll get it--the players have limited playing windows, cannot hope to get back the financial loss they take by holding out.  The loss of the season or even anything more than 8 games costs them more than any compromise they could make today.  And it will not change the way the league negotiates one bit--especially if a season is lost and the players compromise to get playing (and paid) down the road.

Glad they hired Fehr....we'll get no hockey.

bad faith owners

look at all the big contacts signed this summer, the owners signed players and now want to be let out of the deal... it may remind you of someone telling a lie,, 10 teams made money, and the rest need the players to bail them out... It doesnt make sense , owners make decisions that adversely affect the bottom line, but want players to give them back what they agreed to pay them,,, and the 18 teams that didnt make a profit are worth more than they were last year, so if they decide to sell out , they will turn a profit...... when you go to see a movie do you go because of who made the movie or do you go to see your favorite actor , actress?

I never choose a movie

I never choose a movie because of who is or isn't in it.  I go for the story, or plot, that interests me.  Same for sports.  I go to watch the team--the competition and the athleticism--I know it's the individual players who provide that, but I could care less who they are.  I do like certain players because of their play, their results, but they can go and go--and they do--and I'll still watch the team or the sport...

...and I agree with you about owners trying to get out of contracts, but whether it is right or wrong doesn't change the position or ultimate desires.  And neither will it matter the lnger this goes on.  The players should offer a counter proposal that get's closer to the owners desired HRR revenue proposals--nearer 50% (or eventually maybe down to 49%), but make their position current contracts have to be honored and the reduction therefore occurs over time.  That's how to negotiate.

But if the players want to keep all their current salaries, and still get raises, and get back to 57% they are dead in the water, and will wind up getting way worse as the owners will not give in to anything near that....  Therefore they are wasting the season and their own paychecks, which they'll eventually regret.  The multiple players have already acknowledged the owners have the power and will to wait this out and get what they want--so why hold out and hurt yourself more by trying for something you can't get instead of negoatiating for something you may get by showing the league how to get what they want without losing a season...

I don't know

From everything I have heard, looks like we may be in this for the long haul, and perhaps even longer.  This lockout was used as a bargaining tool, and not as a last resort.  Owners were thinking we got what we wanted last time, so let's lock them out.  Players have said that they are ready to sit out a year if it takes that long.  If it goes longer, fans in the USA may have had it and not go rushing back like last time.

Some people are saying that Fehr and the players hold the ball and now it is time for them to act.  The NHL has already said they will not meet unless the players take a huge paycut, so who knows when this stalemate will end.  Yes both sides are talking, but they are avoiding the HRR issue like the black plague.

I honestly have to wonder if the whole reason PK told JR he could spend money this off season, is he knew their plan all along to try to get the salary roll back and if not then lock them out.  Just suspicious to me that the year the CBA was set to expire, PK loosened purse strings on JR.

All we can do as fans is wait or take our money back to let our voices be heard.  Yes we can voice our frustrations to the owners, NHL and NHLPA, but the only way to make them listen is to take money back from them.


My thoughts are the fans mean nothing to these millionaires.  They really don't play for us, they play to make the money.

I am trying to organize a "Sit Out" for the first home game played for every team.  Where I know this will not go completely over, I am reaching out as much as possible to see who is willing to be heard by being silent.  Imagine what the media, the players, and the owners would think if at the first home game back, they played to an empty arena.  The fans would finally be heard and maybe, just maybe, this would not happen again.

Here's to hoping for the best!!!!

Sit Out

That is what I would love to do!  A sit out and loss of money is the only way for these greedy people to understand that fans as a whole are upset.

No way we're playing this year

The owners have the last lockout to help firm their backbone; wait long enough and they get what they want. 

The players also realize the owners are in the drivers seat but the owners are asking for too large a salary rollback, during very profitable years, for the players to accept.

Best case, we lose just one year like last time.  Worst case, it could go longer.  If it does go longer don't be surprised to see some of the super-stars not return.

I would be inclined to say

I would be inclined to say there will be a season but the players are (at least for now) talking like they are willing to sit out another season since they caved in last time. What the players need to realize is that most of these owners are not going to go broke because for a lot of them (such as Karmanos) it is just an expensive hobby for them. I think the only thing that could make the owners capitulate is if the league received intense pushback from sponsors upset that their products are not getting the exposure they signed up for with the league.

Yes, there are no bananas!!

These monkeys are going to let another season go and lose many fans.  Who wants to see a "Lock out" every 6 years?  Everything is way too expensive from bottled water to ticket prices.  Good luck NHL, you have lost my money!

Christmas at the earliest

I think it's Christmas at the earliest.

I wrote the following, but don't have an email address for Bettman or the Canes:

Hurricanes owners and Gary Bettman:

When the Hurricanes came to North Carolina I was both surprised and excited.  I remember attending a game in Greensboro (several hours from where I live) against the Red Wings, complete with black curtain.  And over the years I attended more games, including a playoff game - until the 2004 lockout.

Since then I have not attended a single game.  I still watch most of the games on TV - I got a satellite dish in order to be able to watch the Hurricanes.  I lurk and occasionally comment on fan boards.  But I don't go to games.

What will happen after another long lockout, one I feel is much more caused by the owners who need rescuing from themselves, this time, than by the players?  I don't know, but I could see me ignoring hockey entirely in favor of other sports (football, basketball, international soccer).  I am tired of lockouts, and of the strategy of lockouts.  It looks like every time the CBA expires there will be a long lockout, and that is such a foolish occurrence for millionaires and sometimes billionaires that I'm fed up with that . . .  stupidity.

Enjoy your smug assurance that fans will come back.

Lew Pulsipher (former Red Wings fan, potentially former Hurricanes fan)


The pressure has been turned up by the potential of lost revenue on both sides ,and Rick Nash getting injured in the swiss league also opened some eyes ,as the players have no health care or team doctors to keep them in good health ,sure they have plenty of money to get the best medical care ,but Imo not as good as they have playing especially for free.

No season

I hate to say it, but there won't be a season.  The short-sightedness and greed exhibited by both sides (but mostly the owners)shows that it just won't happen.  The league had record profits this past year, so how can they cry poor?  Teams are throwing ridiculous contracts at free agents just prior to the lockout and still there isn't enough money to justify a season?  Well justify this NHL:  My entertainment dollars can be spent elsewhere.  I hear that the Wolfpack might be good this season.  Maybe I'll toss a little money their way instead.  I can only imagine that will be the case as this stupidity drags on and other, more worthwhile things pop up.

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About the blogger

A Raleigh native, Chip has worked at the N&O since 1979 and is the Canes beat writer. He can be reached at You can follow him on Twitter at @ice_chip.