NHL Defines Preseason Losses as Lockout Continues

2012

(from Wall Street Journal, October 2, 2012) With the National Hockey League in a lockout, not only are both the fans and players upset, but the NHL’s financial losses are catching up to them.  Deputy Commissioner, Bill Daly, spoke to reporters this Tuesday after his meetings between the NHL and the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA).  In response to the meeting’s outcome, Daly said, “Today was not overly encouraging.”  He presented the estimate of a current loss of $100 million revenue dollars just from the cancelled preseason games.  Daly told reporters that they are trying to minimize the damage when discussing the possibility of cancelling the regular season games, which were scheduled to begin Thursday, October 11.  However, the league will not officially project any potential damage caused by the cancellation of any of these games until it becomes indefinite.

Coping with the lockout, many players have headed overseas on month-to-month contracts, in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League (KHL).  The KHL announced that they will televise some of these games in the United States through ESPN3.  Players not sent overseas are either playing with American Hockey League affiliates or choosing to continue workouts amongst themselves.  For example, Minnesota Wild players got together Tuesday for a skate.  Wild players, Ryan Suter and Pierre-Marc Bouchard, made statements expressing the importance of getting a correct solution that will be fixed for good.  “We’re thinking future.  We don’t want to have to deal with this every four or five years,” Suter said.  After Tuesday’s meetings, Daly stressed they are in fact looking for what is best for the fans, players, and the league in a long-term spectrum.

Head of NHLPA, Donald Fehr, hopes to personally talk with NHL Commissioner regarding the player/owner agreement sometime Wednesday.  “It’s clear that the players have made substantial moves towards the owners,” Fehr told reporters, “and the owners have made substantial moves away from the players.”  Even with the advances in the process, there is still a significant difference in opinion.