Lockout Lunacy

As the NHL enters another possible full-season lockout, the NHL owners and Players Association continue to dispute money issues.  As the current lockout continues, the issue isn’t that the players are on strike and wanting more money, like in 2005.  This time around, the owners are trying to cut back the players’ 57 percent of revenue share that they agreed upon seven years ago.

With the current 57 percent set in place right now, owners want to push back 11 percent so they have the higher end of the share.  Surely the owners want to cut down the share because they need more money to add to their billions of dollars.  So what if only few owners are breaking even, they are billionaires, BILLIONAIRES!

Most recently, Ryan Suter and Zach Parise of the Minnesota Wild and Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins signed twelve-plus year contracts each totaling around $100 million.  Long, extensive, multi-million dollar contracts are what owners are trying to eliminate. General Managers promise players oodles of money for multiple years that they may not be worth in following years.  Managers give contracts for owners to fork out money so they can have a solid roster for as long as possible so they have a better chance at achieving the holy grail of the Stanley Cup.

Considering the owners are trying to cut back on the split, Washington Capitals Captain Alexander Ovechkin has threatened to stay in Russia in the Kontinental Hockey League if the owners cut back salaries.  Owners also want to set a maximum term of five years on all new player contracts, eliminate signing bonuses and set a uniform salary for each year of a contract.  They also expect to extend entry level contracts for players entering the league from three to five years and to extend the qualifications for unrestricted free-agency from seven years in the league to ten.

With the lockout still ongoing, many players have signed contracts overseas.  Ovechkin, as mentioned before, is playing in his home country of Russia for the Dynamo Moscow team.  Penguins Star forward Evgeni Malkin also signed with a KHL team.  Players in the NHL, typically young players, have two-way contracts meaning they don’t have to clear waivers to be sent to the minor leagues.  The American Hockey League, which has all minor teams for the NHL, isn’t in a lockout, so Hurricanes Justin Faulk and Jeff Skinner will be playing in the AHL during the lockout.  Eric Staal did the same thing in 2005 as a sophomore in the league.

As the lockout continues, the NHL has announced the cancelation of all preseason games and home openers.  However, Commissioner Gary Bettman has told a “reliable source” that there’s a likely chance a new Collective Bargaining Agreement will be in place by Thanksgiving.

Another NHL lockout could be one of the most ludicrous scenarios that could have occurred after seeing what happened to the NBA and NFL and all the hoopla that occurred at that time.  If owners aren’t willing to lose money, don’t be an NHL owner, simple as that.  The NHL will lose millions of dollars if another lockout is witnessed; the league has grown so much since 2005.  If the regular season is canceled, the players, fans and the people that work at the arenas are the ones who will be hurt the most.  The owners will stay greedy aristocrats.

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