All the work the NHL has done to revitalized itself since the 2004-05 cancelled season looks like it may go down the drain.
Thursday the NHLPA gave a presentation in response to the NHL’s proposed league-revenue sharing system with the results of that one-on-one looking pretty dire.
According to various sources including ESPN’s Katie Strang, both sides remain far apart in the ongoing CBA negotiations. Strang further mentions that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman confirmed himself that both sides are no where close to coming to an agreement and that the league will lockout the players if a new CBA isn’t in place by September 15th.
“Time is getting short and the owners are not prepared to operate under this collective bargaining agreement for another season,” Bettman said after Thursday’s meeting.
If the league does in fact suffer its second lockout within a decade it’s hard to imagine it continuing without some drastic changes being made. Despite the leagues steps to secure more lucrative television deals in the United States and increase attendance at games there are still teams in financial hell. The Phoenix Coyotes have been owned by the league for multiple seasons now while the New Jersey Devils are on the verge of a financial collapse. Any lengthy lockout could very well end the tenure of Bettman as the league’s commissioner and eliminate some teams from the league.
A counter proposal to the NHLPA is expected to come Tuesday.