After three days of speaking of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, both sides the players and the upper level management have agreed to take a step back. What. The. Hell. Though both sides claim that this is not the end of negociations it’s hard for a fan to sit back and accept that. Three days and nothing has been truely accomplished, only microissues have been raised, none of the major ones such as salary, amongst of the players largest grievances. The preseason is cancelled. Many of the NHL’s star attractions are signing tenative schedules in European and Russian leagues as well as the AHL in the meantime. But some players don’t anticiapte this ending soon, they believe it could last the year.
That was a few weeks ago. Now weeks later after more talks, a focus group, and even more bargains being tossed back and forth across the table the NHL and the NHLPA have gotten no further in reaching an agreement. The focus group, headed by a top GOP strategist, came to the rather obvious conclusion that the fans are fed up, angry at Gary Bettman, and want hockey to come back. Yesterday the NHL proceeded to cancel the next block of games, until November 30th. If no new CBA can be reached relatively soon the NHL will continue to lose revenue, fans, and may even be forced to cancel their largest most publicized event of the year: The Winter Classic.