NHL close to canceling regular season games

NHL close to canceling regular season games
October 2, 2012, 8:56 pm
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All those good vibrations generated between the NHL and its players unionover the weekend evaporated with two words on Tuesday.No progress.That's how NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly described a brief meetingwith NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr on Tuesday as the two sides butted heads againon the key economic issues that forced the owners to shut down the league onSept. 16.I dont think that we have a lack of communication in this negotiation, Dalytold reporters in New York.They understand what our position is. To this point we certainly understandwhat their position is. We just wish it was different.In a nutshell, the two sides are at odds over how to divide an estimated 3.3 billion in annual revenue, an amount thatdwindles with each passing day. The leagues six-year proposal calls for the players share of revenuedecreasing from its current 57 percent to 47 percent. The players proposal does not seetheir share of revenue dropping below 52 percent.The obvious compromise is a 50-50 split, but neither side is willing to moveto that point, at least not until several games and millions of dollars arelost.Its clear that the players havemade substantial moves towards the owners and the owners have made substantialmoves away from the players, Fehr said.While both sides wait for the other to blink, the NHL is just days away fromcanceling its first large chunk of regular season games. The NHL regular seasonis scheduled to begin on Oct. 11, with the Caps slated to open the following nightat home against the New Jersey Devils.Daly said the league already has lost close to 100 million in revenue inthe first 17 days of the lockout. That number will grow exponentially if theNHL decides to cancel all games in October, which is likely to happen beforethe end of this week.That revenue is not going to be recouped and thats going to cost bothsides, Daly said.Actually, only the owners have lost real money through the first 17 days ofthe lockout. The players wont begin missing their bi-weekly paychecks untillate October and even then they will be receiving escrow checks amounting to roughly8.5 percent of last years salaries.But with league revenues down, so will be the players share of thatrevenue, turning this lockout into a lose-lose-lose-lose situation for owners,players, fans and the thousands of arena workers who will not be employedduring the work stoppage.If there is any silver lining in the negotiations it is the fact both sidescontinue to talk. Fehr indicated he will speak with NHL commissioner GaryBettman again on Wednesday and hopes to meet with him again before the end ofthe week.Got a reasonable solution to the stalemate? And in your opinion, how many games must be played to legitimize an NHL season? Join the conversation below.