Saturday, August 7, 2010

2012 NHL Lockout Would Be Pure Insanity!!

With the Ilya Kovalchuk hearing and situation nearing an end, talk about what this whole mess could lead to is heating up.  A word that most NHL fans are used to and would not like to hear ever again is Lockout.  With that said, the likelyhood of another lockout is still there.  Would the NHL be that stupid? Could they possibly lock us out of another NHL season after all the success they are seeing? To be honest I would not be surprised if the NHL did but I can't see Gary Bettman shutting down another season after all of the Ratings, Attemdance and Merchandise gains the NHL has expirienced over the last five seasons.

We as hockey and NHL fans were all devestated to a certain degree when the NHL was locked out in 2004-2005 but looking back on it now, most of us can agree that it has worked out great for the overall quality of the game.  All the new rule changes and the salary cap have been great for the NHL.  I really can' think of one rule change that has hurt the game (I can think of some unnecessary ones). The salary cap has helped inject some youthfulness into the game as most teams need to have a certain amount of Entry Level Contract's to fit under the cap.

Join me after this for some of my reasons as to why the NHL will not lockout in 2012......
The NHl and NHLPA will have to discuss a new CBA after the 2011-2012 season and there are already some warning signs that this could be a long fight between both sides.  The recent battle between Bettman anf the NHLPA over the Kovalchuk is the first step towards a long fight.   This is not the first contract of it's kind which is one of the major reasons why many find it hard for the NHL to win. If the NHL had acted earlier with the Hossa, Savard, Franzen or many of the other long deals that take players well into there late thirties or forties making only league minimum then they would have a case.  But chosing this one right now will definitely put a whole in there case.

Many believe the NHL knows that they will lose the battle but are setting up for a war when the new CBA will be drawn up.  Whether or not the NHL wins this case, there will be a long discussion over these types of contracts come the summer of 2012 but here are a few reasons I see the NHL not taking the 2012-2013 season off:

1.  The NHL has grown by leaps and bounds over the last five seasons and especially this past season. Just check one of my previous posts to see what I am talking about.

2.  The NHL barely survived the first lockout but has come back with a better game and more commitment to fans thus bringing in some of the best ratings and attendance in league history.  But I am not sure this will happen again if there is another lockout.  I could see alot of the new fans of the game giving up early.

3.  The first lockout had strong reasoning behind it and alot of fans decided to give the NHL another chance but this would not sit well with most fans and the same result might not appear when all the dust settles.

4.  There is a strong chance that both the NFL and NBA will be locked out during the 2011-2012 season.  This would be the year before the proposed NHL CBA issues.  With the NHL being the only major sport during the fall, winter and early spring time, they will definitely see a huge ratings boost and a huge gain in support from new fans.  There is absolutely no way the NHL will lockout after seeing the great success from the year before and having all the momentum on their side.  This scenario depends on the NFL/NBA both locking out but all indications have pointed to the fact that this is highly likely.

No matter what comes out of the arbitrators final ruling on Monday, this case will lead to a huge battle and no one is really sure which outcome would be better for the NHL and its fans in the long run.  But lets hope the NHL actually thinks ahead and realizes that a another lockout will severely hurt the future of the game!

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