As the 22nd day of the lockout approached, the National Hockey League (NHL) announced the cancellation of the first two weeks, totaling 82 games, of the regular season. This is the second time in seven years that the NHL has cancelled games as a result of labor negotiations. This year, the lockout is the result of a disagreement between the NHL and the NHL Players Association (NHLPA) regarding the disbursement of the $3 billion hockey-related revenues. In the previous collective bargaining agreement that expired on September 15, NHL players were awarded 57 percent of the revenue. NHL Commissioner, Gary Bettman, hopes to bring this number below 50 percent for the new collective bargaining agreement.
With the owners behind him, Bettman has taken the reins during these negotiations. Both the players and the owners are at extreme opposite ends of the spectrum. It seems that Bettman is asking for too much from the players and there must be some sort of middle ground. If he wants to adopt a CBA similar to that of the NFL, Bettman must not adjust for costs prior to taking the 50 percent. Therefore, both the owners and the players give a little and may come to an agreement. However, this seems to be a strategy unlikely to be adopted by Bettman.
In 2004-2005 NHL lockout, the entire hockey season was lost as the NHL and NHLPA could not come to an agreement until July 2005. Unlike the first lockout where negotiations took a break for the first three months, the NHL and NHLPA have continued negotiations since September. Although many of the players have signed contracts to play in the overseas, fans are hopeful that an entire season will not be lost. The NHL and NHLPA have made little progress on collective bargaining negotiations. Fortunately, negotiations are expected to resume during the week of October 8 in New York.
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