Gary Bettman has been the commissioner of the National Hockey since 1993. Under his power, the league has had two previous lockouts, one during the 1994-1995 season and the other being the 2004-2005 season. As more and more times passes, a lockout of the entire 2012-2013 season looms nearer.
The war wages on between the NHL and the NHL Players’ Association with tensions high on each side. Since the National Hockey League announced the lockout of the 2012-2013 hockey season, talks and deliberations between the two groups have been at a stand still. Neither side wants to give into to each other’s demands. The core issue being discussed? Revenue distribution. The bottom line? Owners want more money and want the players to have less.
During the league’s last lockout, which was only a mere seven years ago, a salary cap was introduced. A salary cap can be described as a limit on the amount of money a sports team can spend on player salaries. After integrating this concept into the league, both players and owners were happy. But, it seems owners are no longer satisfied.
Owners are complaining that players are getting overpaid. It may hold true that some players do get overpaid, especially the negligible ones, but that is usually due to the bad decisions of the general managers and owners. The salary cap is not what is at fault, but has helped with the issue of being overpaid. So, why are the owners unhappy with agreements they made just a few years ago?
The NHL continues to increase in revenue every year. It has had an increase in revenue even in a down economy. By cancelling the 2012-2013 preseason, it has cost the league about $100 million in revenue that they will not be able to make up. On October 4th, the NHL announced the cancellation of all regular season games through the 24th of October. This action will only cost the league a larger loss in revenue. With no upcoming labor talks scheduled, will the NHL and NHLPA be able to come to some sort of agreement before the idea of a looming lockout of an entire season becomes reality? Only time and deliberation will tell, and for the fans’ sake, the ones who create this revenue, let’s hope that doesn’t happen.