NHL is (finally) back

The NHL and the NHLPA finally got an agreement in place. I haven't really seen any threads dedicated to it, so I thought I'd make one. I know there are a few hockey fans on this site, even if the number is severely limited.

So, what do you guys think? Still annoyed at them for cancelling almost the entire season? Relieved that it's finally back? And what kind of season do you think we can expect, now that it's as short as it's bound to be?

I'm personally just happy that they reached an agreement. I'm a bit annoyed that it took them so long to get there, but mostly I'm just happy with it. Depending on how many games they can cram into the scheduele, I think it'll be a very hectic NHL season. I really hope most of the NHL players is released from wherever they've signed during the lockout, but I wouldn't be surprised if a sizable chunk of them won't, meaning a weaker league than we'd normally see. To be honest, I'm looking more forward to the next season, even if I'm still glad NHL is back.

Also, go Wings!

WOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

On a more serious note, I don't know if the head honchos realize how much damage they might have done. I can just picture Gary getting up there, announcing "The Season is Back on!" to like 10 people and a bum. I mean I'm happy it's back on, but if we have to go through this again in 8 years I'm gonna be angry.

As far as the season this year? Well the Wings are probably gonna stink up the ice, but as long as we can make the playoffs I'll be happy. Even that's not guaranteed though, because of our tough schedule (I think everyone is playing every division opponent 7 times, and Conference opponents twice). I think whoever wins the Stanely Cup this year is always gonna have a mini-asterisk on it. I mean unless some team just goes out and absolutely dominates, it's always gonna be, "Well you only had to play half a season".

I'm still happy though

Good. Canada and a dozen Americans are happy today.

I'm mostly happy because I have something to keep me busy until baseball season.

I'm going to say this in the nicest way I can...

The NHL is a fucking joke.

Well I tried. Seriously, how can a "professional" sport screw things up so badly. I get that it's a niche sport but this is the second time that this league has locked out in a decade (and what, the fourth in twenty years?). I suppose it's nice that they've finally decided that eight years will be the next lockout (assuming they can survive this little episode) but at what cost? How many fans are going to give them ANOTHER chance after so many lockouts, especially in this economy?

image

No, but I had heard something about this. What exactly happened to make them cancel the season?

Ljs1121:
No, but I had heard something about this. What exactly happened to make them cancel the season?

Well, the center of the issue is, of course, money. The way I understand it, is that the owners of the not-so-succesful franchises are losing money. The two major points of how they want to solve it, as I understand, is
a) lowering the share of the profits that the players get
and
b) have revenue sharing inside the NHL, meaning that the bigger clubs that take home a lot of money will be sharing with the less fortunate clubs.

tippy2k2:
Well I tried. Seriously, how can a "professional" sport screw things up so badly. I get that it's a niche sport but this is the second time that this league has locked out in a decade (and what, the fourth in twenty years?). I suppose it's nice that they've finally decided that eight years will be the next lockout (assuming they can survive this little episode) but at what cost? How many fans are going to give them ANOTHER chance after so many lockouts, especially in this economy?

I certainly understand why people are pissed, it's definitely not a great situation for the NHL. As for the fans, I think a lot of them will continue to stick by the NHL, I mean from what I've heard, the profits of NHL have been steadily rising since 2005 and that was an entire season being cancelled. At least now, since they've finally reached an agreement, there'll be a season.

Sp3ratus:
I certainly understand why people are pissed, it's definitely not a great situation for the NHL. As for the fans, I think a lot of them will continue to stick by the NHL, I mean from what I've heard, the profits of NHL have been steadily rising since 2005 and that was an entire season being cancelled. At least now, since they've finally reached an agreement, there'll be a season.

I agree to an extent. I think the hardcore NHL fans (season ticket holders and whatnot) will continue to support their teams.

However, I'm referring to people like me. I have some interest in hockey (I'm from Minnesota, I'm fairly certain we're required to have at least a little bit of hockey love in us) but I'm not going to go fully into a sport like I do with my Vikings when at least once a decade these millionaires decide that they can't figure out a way to share the millions in profits fairly.

EDIT: Whoopsy! I screwed up the quotes and it pinged the wrong person. My bad!

I'm ready to see Braden Holtby in net again.


My prediction for the season is the Caps will be on fire before they have a chance to go on a losing streak. But, if there is a post season the Capitals will be eliminated second round.

I'm mad at the league because this happens way too often.

Holy shit I didn't know that, thanks buddy. When will the season start exactly ?

Also GO HABS GO

Congrats NHL! I'm still not watching any games or buying any merch until next season. You royally pissed me off and this paltry remainder of a season does not please me.

But I just know most fans will break down and watch the games and give them money again anyway. It'd be nice if we could all remain angry and send a message. But whatever.

tippy2k2:
However, I'm referring to people like me. I have some interest in hockey (I'm from Minnesota, I'm fairly certain we're required to have at least a little bit of hockey love in us) but I'm not going to go fully into a sport like I do with my Vikings when at least once a decade these millionaires decide that they can't figure out a way to share the millions in profits fairly.

True enough and I can totally understand how a lot of people probably feel the same way. The best way, of course, is hitting them where it hurts; the money. It's the only real way for people to tell the NHL that they won't put up with something like this again. I do agree with you, that it's hard to feel sorry for either side, since the amount of money we're talking about here is beyond what most of us will ever make in a lifetime.

Regardless, it'll be interesting to see how the NHL copes with it, this time around. If it's a big hit for them, they'll hopefully get their shit together for when the next CBA talks comes around, in 8 years.

tricky-crazy:
Holy shit I didn't know that, thanks buddy. When will the season start exactly ?

Nothing announced yet, but from NHL.com:

NHL:
The League did not announce the start date of the season or the number of games each team will play. Those details will be announced soon.

So hopefully we'll get some more information in the next coming days.

I heard that it'll be a half season plus playoffs. This makes me happy as it has been entirely too long since I've seen the Dallas Stars play. I haven't even been to their new arena. Now I'm curious is to how all this will effect the price of tickets.

Kick. Ass.

I'd be remiss not to post this.

If last season taught me anything I'm a bandwagon hockey fan at best, having watched LA Kings win the Stanley cup.

Good for the (real) fans that they have their sports back.

More night shifts for me, wheee!

No, but it's about bloody time they managed to get a deal going. Though now I'll have to hope for the Kings and Red Wings not to make it into the playoffs, or we'll have a whole problem with our national team this year again at the world championship.

We need Kopitar over here too you know!

I'm only a casual fan and haven't been watching for more than a year now, so I'm more than a little upset that a sport that I am just starting to like pissed away half its season. I'm also none too pleased that two groups cancelled half the season over how to allocate the proceeds they get that ultimately come in one way or another from its fans with no discussion on how to make up to the fans that they don't get half the season back. But when push comes to shove, I'm still going to be running around like a mad man when the Penguins play and will still delight every time the Caps lose.

I'm happy it's back, but my anticipation/excitement level is WAY below normal. It's impossible not to be irritated at a sport that has had four lockouts/work stoppages in 20 years. It's a fucking clown show. Amazing sport, amazing players, absolutely inept management, on both the player union and NHL side.

Sp3ratus:
Also, go Wings!

Lionsfan:
Well the Wings are probably gonna stink up the ice, but as long as we can make the playoffs I'll be happy.

The post-Lidstrom era begins. I feel for you guys. He was one of my favorite non-Canucks.

Ljs1121:

No, but I had heard something about this. What exactly happened to make them cancel the season?

Well if you want to dig deeper down, at the root of the problem is a big New York based union busting law firm Proskauer Rose. The NHL employs them for labour negotiations, as does the NBA, NFL, and MLB. Also both NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NBA commissioner David Stern are former members of this law firm. Not that there's anything against the leagues using the same legal representation for labour disputes, but you end up having a shared playbook being used against the different players unions.

If you put them side be side the recent NBA and the just finished NHL lockouts are extremely similar. The NHL lockout went on a little longer and got more toxic probably because the NHLPA had more solidarity and put up a better fight than the NBAPA.

For some more specifics to the NHL lockout keeping it very simplified, essentially once the dust settled from the last one the NHL had it's salary cap and cost certainty revenue split with the players receiving 57% and the owners 43% (as of 2004 the players were earning as high as 74%), and to accommodate the drop NHL players too a 24% salary rollback. In return players got a greater freedom of movement, being able to become unrestricted free agents at age 25-27 instead of 31. Setting the stage for this lockout, since then the NBA players accepted a 50/50 revenue split and the NFL a 48/52, so obviously the NHL owners weren't going to be content with their measly 43% cut. The players on the other hand were damned determine to not have to suffer another salary rollback, they were more or less accepting of their share getting scaled back to 50/50 eventually but they expected all current contracts to be honored as is (which added up closer to 57% for this year). Further more, while there was a contract loophole everyone knew the league was going to close, the owners also made an attempt at taking back all the player movements benefits the PA gained from the last lockout and adding even more restrictions. So contract rights ended up becoming an even bigger fight than the salary split.

All in all, the whole thing was very, very stupid. Now I live and breathe hockey. Being Canadian it's the only pro sport team in town (besides CFL and MLS) and the only one I follow. Plus 5 years ago I started playing the game as well, in fact I prepped for this lockout by joining a second beer league team. Regardless of how ugly labour negotiations get or how long it takes when the puck drops again in the NHL I'll be there... on the couch at least, actual Canuck tickets are too expensive for me.

But... I really hope this lockout hits the NHL hard in terms of casual fan indifference leading to lower viewership and sponsorship dissatisfaction leading to less sponsor revenue. Us hardcore fans will be there regardless, and while it seems to bother some personally I could care less that hockey is the least popular of the 4 major professional team sports leagues in North America. But if this ugly lockout has the effect of setting league growth/progress back 5 years maybe the owners and to a lesser extent the players will think twice about doing it again the next time.

I had a mini-heart attack when I heard, I'm so ready for the season to get going. No merch money from me this season though. I may not be able to resist watching my Canucks but I can refuse to buy gear from them. Shame too, I could go for a new jersey.

Sp3ratus:
The NHL and the NHLPA finally got an agreement in place. I haven't really seen any threads dedicated to it, so I thought I'd make one. I know there are a few hockey fans on this site, even if the number is severely limited.

So, what do you guys think? Still annoyed at them for cancelling almost the entire season? Relieved that it's finally back? And what kind of season do you think we can expect, now that it's as short as it's bound to be?

I'm personally just happy that they reached an agreement. I'm a bit annoyed that it took them so long to get there, but mostly I'm just happy with it. Depending on how many games they can cram into the scheduele, I think it'll be a very hectic NHL season. I really hope most of the NHL players is released from wherever they've signed during the lockout, but I wouldn't be surprised if a sizable chunk of them won't, meaning a weaker league than we'd normally see. To be honest, I'm looking more forward to the next season, even if I'm still glad NHL is back.

Also, go Wings!

No chance of that happening, every player that's gone over seas has an out clause to return to the NHL. Or more specifically, they only signed a contract for half the season in Europe to begin with. Players were already starting to return from Europe in late December. If anyone stays it will be personal choice, not contractual obligations.

Lionsfan:
WOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!
I think whoever wins the Stanely Cup this year is always gonna have a mini-asterisk on it. I mean unless some team just goes out and absolutely dominates, it's always gonna be, "Well you only had to play half a season".

i dont agree. in 94 the rangers won the cup, and i dont see anybody that say : oh well, but they played half a season. Even if you play half a season, you still play the full playoffs.

so what, every cup win before 67 doesnt count because there was only 6 teams ?

It's pretty sure that in canada, there will be no consequence of the lockout. people will still watch the games, still pay 300$ for a pair of half decent tickets and full the arenas anyway. In some US market, i'm not that sure...

I'm so excited for this season to get going. No hockey was really starting to wear me down. I'm really sad that it came this far. The NHL had some momentum going in building a fan base and having a lockout last this long was really ridiculous. I think its safe to say that "casual" viewership is going to take a huge hit, especially down here in the states, but that there are a lot of people like me that can't wait for the puck to drop. The management completely shot themselves in the foot. The key here should be growing the game. Growth in viewership both strengthens revenue and interest in the sport overall. People need to be familiar with the game, their kids need to play it and they need to bring their friends to watch it. The lockout did a lot to destroy what little growth the game had. I believe that if you love something you should share it (within reason of course). I would like to see some gestures from the management that show they are committed to winning back fans.

there was a Hokey strike thing?

I was not aware of this, but good for you Hokey fans I guess

tippy2k2:
I get that it's a niche sport

Eeeehhhh, I suppose in US of A most sports are niche due to "not being gridiron football". It's quite a popular thing over here in Europe and in Canada and Russia, I hear.

cathou:

Lionsfan:
WOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!
I think whoever wins the Stanely Cup this year is always gonna have a mini-asterisk on it. I mean unless some team just goes out and absolutely dominates, it's always gonna be, "Well you only had to play half a season".

i dont agree. in 94 the rangers won the cup, and i dont see anybody that say : oh well, but they played half a season. Even if you play half a season, you still play the full playoffs.

so what, every cup win before 67 doesnt count because there was only 6 teams ?

It's pretty sure that in canada, there will be no consequence of the lockout. people will still watch the games, still pay 300$ for a pair of half decent tickets and full the arenas anyway. In some US market, i'm not that sure...

I think the main "problem" will be that whoever wins this season has won the season that came after the "Kings, seeded 8th, knock out the 1st, 2nd and 3rd seed in conference playoffs while only giving away 2 games, then proceed to win the Stanley Cup". Simply put, this season's champion has big shoes to fill.

Oh and, yeah I did go to see the cup live when Kopitar brought it to Slovenia. Was a great thing, to see "the holy grail of hockey" up close.

cathou:

Lionsfan:
WOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!
I think whoever wins the Stanely Cup this year is always gonna have a mini-asterisk on it. I mean unless some team just goes out and absolutely dominates, it's always gonna be, "Well you only had to play half a season".

i dont agree. in 94 the rangers won the cup, and i dont see anybody that say : oh well, but they played half a season. Even if you play half a season, you still play the full playoffs.

so what, every cup win before 67 doesnt count because there was only 6 teams ?

Well one, you're thinking of the 1994/1995 season, when the Devils won (and almost killed hockey in the process). And people do talk about only playing half a season.

And two, I'm not going to pretend the regular season is the end-all be-all (not when half the freaking league makes the playoffs anyways), but now instead of figuring out what teams have the most talent to last, it's going to be which teams get lucky and didn't have their players get hurt. Or which teams managed to get their Russian players back from the KHL. Stuff like that. It's just gonna be a dash to the playoffs, which should make for some interesting tv, but not necessarily legitimate. Especially since teams are only going to be playing their division, and essentially nobody else.

The playoffs negate some of that, but a half-season is still half a season.

I was beginning to worry if I'd see Chris Neil beat the shit out of someone this year or not.

Just a quick update on the situation. The CBA has now been signed and we'll be getting a 48-game season, beginning January 19th.

Source

BloatedGuppy:
The post-Lidstrom era begins. I feel for you guys. He was one of my favorite non-Canucks.

Yea, it'll be hard without him. An amazing player and future hall of famer like him is irreplaceable. Wings still have a lot of great players, but it just won't be the same.

RandV80:
No chance of that happening, every player that's gone over seas has an out clause to return to the NHL. Or more specifically, they only signed a contract for half the season in Europe to begin with. Players were already starting to return from Europe in late December. If anyone stays it will be personal choice, not contractual obligations.

Of course, that makes sense. Just like the NBA contracts the previous year. Well, I'm glad to hear that it'll be a strong league competing, even if it's only for a 48 game scheduele.

 

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