NHL, the No Hockey League

Spencer Borden '13
Staff Reporter
October 15, 2012

Last week was supposed to be when the National Hockey League began playing the 2012-2013 season, yet millions of hockey fans are going to be disappointed this winter, as it seems there could potentially be no NHL season this year.

The NHL’s collective bargaining agreement came to an end on September 15. This agreement was reached to end the last NHL lockout that canceled all of the games in the 2004-2005 season. In this agreement, the NHL Players Association (NHLPA) was able to strike a deal with the owners for 57% of all hockey related revenue. Now this deal has come to an end and the NHL is looking to decrease the players percentage of all hockey related revenues down to 43%.

The NHLPA is working on a new deal and is offering it to the owners, a five year agreement that would increase revenue for hockey players. In the first year of the deal the players will receive a fixed 1.91 billion dollars (a two percent increase), the second year they will receive 1.98 billion dollars (a six percent increase), then in the third year they will receive 2.1 billion dollars (an eight percent increase). For the final two years of this agreement one of three things could happen; if revenue does not increase adequately then the players will receive 2.1 billion dollars for the remainder of the deal, if revenue does increase greatly then players will receive the 2.1 billion and 57% of all hockey related revenue, finally if revenue falls in between those two categories then the players would receive again the 2.1 billion and 54% of hockey related revenue each year.

The owners have offered the players a six year deal for 47% of all hockey revenue. If a deal is not met then more and more games will be canceled, which will devastate many fans. Long time NHL fan Lucas Saunders said, “If more games get canceled then I will be very upset, and if they don’t come to an agreement soon then I don’t think there will be a season this year.” Many NHL players share this fear that there may not be a season, and many have gone overseas to play in European leagues.

This potential lockout has already canceled the first two weeks of play, a total of 82 games. This is going to cost the NHL 280 million dollars, which is unfortunate, because just last season the NHL earned a record amount of 3.3 billion dollars.