Wednesday, February 16, 2005

NHL Officially Cancels Season

Most of us saw this one coming for the past several weeks. Today Gary Bettman officially cancelled the NHL season.

The writing was on the wall last night when Goodenow and Bettman were negotiating with press releases that quickly became available all over the internet. Any real negotiation is done in person and not in the media.

In the end, both sides got closer together then we expected, but they still have a long way to go. The difference is not merely in the number of dollars in the proposed salary caps. There were many issues that got swept under the rug, that never reached any agreement. The negotiations were done from the top down and the sides never did agree on the top point. They never seriously discussed any points below that.

So what happens next? If the NHLPA suddenly said to the NHL that they will accept the last NHL proposal, I bet we do have a season (although there is no chance that will happen). So the cancellation of the season isn't quite final (although in all likelihood it will be)

Probably, nothing happens for a while. Both sides worked hard on not agreeing. Now they have no motivation to do anything for a while. The next serious negotiations likely occur when circumstances change. This may be draft time. This would be if the WHA announces their long rumored spring tournament. Until then what can fans do? Wait. Complain. Get further alienated. Its not a pretty situation is it?

Comments:
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