The NHL made a mistake this past week. The offered the players a 50/50 split and planned on playing all 82 games, thinking that the players would buy in to this and the owners wouldn’t lose a cent. That, however, was a miscalculation. The Players figure that the 50/50 split wasn’t much of a compromise on the leagues original offer since it’s probably what they wanted in the first place.
To counter-offer the leagues proposal, the NHLPA sent in three proposals which, in ten minutes, were dismissed by Commissioner Garry Bettman. The reason? The proposals don’t make mathematical sense to the owners because it it doesn’t work out to an effective 50/50 split for the initial years. Meaning that what you would see is an effective gradual decrease of the percentage over the life of the CBA, what the players wanted all along and what the owners won’t even consider.
Basically both sides are still very much far apart and I don’t see much changing any time soon. And as such the league cancelled games through November 1st, although more cancellations will be coming later this week.
My prediction: this season is done for. And if NHLPA leader Fehr is as good as we think he is, part of next season will get cancelled too. The players are together on this, unlike in 2004 in which much of the union was fragmented. By the time next season when they start to cancel games, the owners will cave because the amount of revenue lost will start to really hurt the teams and the league. Garry Bettman will step down as the commissioner and the NHL will once again play hockey.
Or maybe that’s just wishful thinking…