Friday, December 07, 2012

Why the NHL is a long way from cancelling the season

Decision whether to cancel season long way off
Sometimes posturing by the parties negotiating like we saw from NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and the players on Thursday isn't a bad thing. It can mean the real real issues toward an agreement are finally being addressed in earnest. Sometimes, though, it does mean what it seems - like there is no resolution in sight.
Trying to read into it is a waste, kind of like this lockout itself, which is the most nonsensical I can recall given there is nothing really there to win for either side, only to lose. But when the players association hired Donald Fehr, this is what they asked for. It was like hiring Tony Montana to broker mob piece with Tony Soprano.
Mostly, I wonder when there will be a drop dead date and the cancellation of the season will be imminent.
If history is a gauge, that won't be for awhile. Bettman didn't cancel the 2004-2005 season until Feb. 16.
In 1994-95, the NHL did play a 48-game schedule. The lockout ended Jan. 11 and the season started nine days later. The playoffs started the first weekend of May. The Stanley Cup playoffs ended June 24 when the Red Wings were swept by the New Jersey Devils in four games. In contrast, the Stanley Cup finals ended on June 11 last season, a six-game series between the Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings and the Devils.
In 2005, the NHL was still considering playing in mid-February with what likely would have been a 36-game season. Bettman cancelled the season Feb. 16
My gut feeling is there will be a season, albeit it decidedly marred and skewed.


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