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It's a hard day to be a hockey fan. After telling anyone who would listen how well the business of the NHL is booming for the last few years, the league has, for the third time in the last 17 years, impacted its regular season by locking out the players.
Today, the NHL has wiped out the first two weeks of games, spanning Opening Night October 11th, through October 24th. For the Nashville Predators, this cancellation affects 7 games, including a 4-game home stand featuring St. Louis, Colorado, Vancouver & Pittsburgh.
How Long Will This Last?
Both sides are taking a stand here, and negotiations have basically ground to a halt over the Big Issue, the split of Hockey Related Revenues. The NHL is taking the position that things can't move forward until the NHLPA makes a move in their direction, but that isn't likely to happen soon.
I can see why the players are angry. Just months after Craig Leipold complained publicly about how can't make money despite rising revenues (a notion which is hard to believe), he signed Ryan Suter and Zach Parise to contracts with a combined worth of $196 million.
Now, he and the other owners want to immediate roll back the value of those, and every other existing contract in the league. It's a remarkably bald-faced turnaround to slap guys on the back and speak about how proud you are to bring them on board, then demand that the rest of the deal gets cut by a significant percentage before the ink has even dried.
Will Fans React?
Of course, what both sides are ultimately fighting over is the money showered on them by rabid hockey fans and the corporate sponsors who want to reach them.
The question from two weeks ago is every bit as relevant today - are you angry enough to do something about the NHL Lockout, or will you just wait things out and show up with cash in hand whenever they're ready to drop the puck?