NHL continues to prepare for the start of another season even with an unsettled
labor situation threatening its start. The following is a look at the top news
and notes from the NHL over the past week that could be of interest to anyone
who enjoys wagering on the game.
As a result
of the current NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NHL team owners
and the league’s Players Association coming to an end this past Saturday, the
owners decided to impose a player lockout until a new
agreement can be reached.
follows professional sports should know the drill by now after going through
the same scenario with the NFL prior to the start of last season and the NBA,
which actually delayed the start of their 2011/2012 and reduced the number of
games played from 82 to 66. Right now, the prognosis for an on-time start to
the 2012/2013 regular season does not look good, although no games have been
officially cancelled. The timeline to get the regular season underway on time
dictates that a new CBA would have to be in place by early October given that
the regular season was slated to start on Oct.11.
There are no
current talks going on between the two parties and none are scheduled in the
near future, so it looks like we are in for the long haul in this labor
dispute. The crux of the problem, as it was with the NFL and the NBA, is money.
The main disagreement is also the same: which side gets the bigger piece of the
revenue pie. The problem with the NHL is that it does not hold nearly the clout
with average American sports fans that, say, football does, so the
external pressure from a fanatical yet frustrated fan base to get a new deal done
just does not exist.
Players look to take their talents
has gone on record saying it is more than willing to start the season
without a new CBA and continue to work towards a new agreement over the course
of the next few months, but the owners decided to take a hard line stance by
imposing the lockout. Unfortunately, that is not going to keep players from
seeking out alternative ways to get back on the ice this fall. During the last
NHL work stoppage back in 2004/2005, over 400 players or half the league’s
roster decided to play overseas. The same thing could happen this time around
as players such as Alex Ovechkin, Jason Spezza, and Nail Yakupov have already
signed contracts with international teams. Ovechkin signed with the Dynamo
Moscow of Russia’s KHL, which is where he played from 2001 and 2005 before
joining the NHL. Spezza is set to return to Switzerland to play for
Rapperswil-Jona of the Swiss Elite League for the duration of the work
stoppage. Yakupov is also headed back to Russia to play in the KHL and many
more of the biggest names in the sport are ready to follow suit.
This whole situation does not look good, and
while it is hard to believe that the NHL owners and the NHLPA would be willing
to sit-out an entire season like they did with the last labor dispute, there is
no clear end in sight for this current one.
Click here if you'd like to read NHL News and Notes for September 13th.