The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

NHL lockout means no fights or broken sticks

If you’re an NHL fan, Sept. 15 had to be an especially tough day.

On that day, a collective bargaining agreement stemming from a player contract dispute expired and the National Hockey League announced to the world that it would enter into a lockout less than a month before the beginning of the 2012/2013 season.

That decision led to the entire pre-season being canceled as well. Now here we are, three weeks later. The chains are on, the lights are off in the arenas and 82 scheduled games have been canceled, as well as the purchase of my San Jose Sharks hat I wanted before the season.

To add to the frustration, the NHL lockout is becoming more and more severe with every passing day. It’s the fourth time in less than 20 years that the NHL has had regular season games canceled, with the last time coming when the entire 2004/2005 season was cancelled.

So what caused all of this unrest in the league?

Some key issues that the owners brought up have to do with the players’ contracts, setting a maximum five-year contract term on all new players, as well as wanting to eliminate signing bonuses, eliminate front-loaded contracts, and set a uniform salary for each contract year.

Officials also want to change some free agency policies, but we all know what the main disagreement is: it’s the same one as any other professional sports league, especially one that brings in billions of dollars to players and owners.

Show me the money. The major issue of this lockout is the fact that the owners want more of the players’ guaranteed hockey related revenue (HRR), which, as it sits now, is 57 percent.
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With their first offer to the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA), the owners wanted that number reduced to 46 percent. The owners would probably be satisfied with about a 50 percent split, but only if that is in effect immediately, but the players aren’t yet ready to agree to that.

So, the two sides are basically left with $3.3 billion on the table, trying to figure out how to spread it around. I would suggest they give some to me, but that probably wouldn’t help the situation.

So far, approximately $100 million has been lost in revenue with the cancelation in effect. Now the biggest date in the coming weeks will be Oct. 24, which is now the closest deadline for the NHLPA and NHL to come to an agreement.

In the meantime, some players that were eligible have been sent to the American Hockey League, which is primarily used as a developmental camp for the NHL, but veteran players are considering going to Europe to find work as the lockout looms on.

Already more than 60 players have skated overseas, and they’re heading to the Russia-based Kontinental Hockey League, as well as other leagues around the world.

Although the revenue lost is drastic, the real losers are the fans, who will have to read about their favorite players rather than watch them—unless of course they want to search for hours on end to find a live stream of overseas games on the web, while trying to translate foreign internet browsers’ languages through the Google search engine.

Though, this can be an even more frustrating task than just finding something else to watch between study sessions. As The New York Times wrote, and I think it sums up this whole fiasco best, “If you can master the differences between Trinec of the Czech Republic and Trencin of Slovakia, or Metallurg Magnitogorsk and Metallurg Novokuznetsk of Russia, you can follow your favorite N.H.L. players overseas.”

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