Hey commissioner Gary Bettman, way to use common sense in not destroying your league. Props to Donald Fehr for not letting his ego to reject another proposal that would have possibly ended the season.
In case you haven’t sensed my sarcasm by now, I do not give the league nor its player’s union credit for ending what should have been a non-existent lockout. It lasted a day too long, let alone 113 days.
Let’s forget about the specifics for a minute: a 10-year deal with a mutual opt-out clause after eight years and includes contract term limits at seven years (eight years for a team to re-sign its own players), a salary cap of $60 million with a salary floor at $44 million, revenue sharing to spread $200 million. The fact remains that Bettman and the NHL owners thought is was a good idea to not renew the previous CBA which brought in $3 billion in revenue.
That is why I refuse to give those fools any credit for ending this nonsensical lockout.
Now the NHL has a lot of work to do going forward. You know the fans are pissed at the NHL right now, and rightfully so. While teams in Chicago, Detroit, Toronto and other hockey-traditional markets may not miss a beat, the NHL will have a harder time in non-traditional cities.
Fans in Nashville, Raleigh, Columbus and Florida will be slow to come back. For example, a lot of fans of the Hurricanes swore to me up and down that they will be fine, but I just do not see it. Raleigh is a college town, and more so a college basketball market. Folks there love their NC State Wolfpack (and for some reason, UNC Tarheels), and are far more invested in them than the Hurricanes.
Having said all of that, there is good news on the horizon. We will most likely have a 50-game season, meaning that the season will be shortened to more of a casual sprint than the marathon of an 82-game season. Urgency will be higher for the players, which should result in exciting play for the fans. The most important thing is that we will not lose the most exciting and grueling postseason tournament in professional sports: the Stanley Cup playoffs.
The NHL may be back, but any momentum from the last few seasons has been stymied by that stupid-ass lockout. It has a long road to hoe in getting back in the good graces of its fans.
Hopefully the NHL owners will wise up and fire Bettman’s ass once and for all. If not, they should lock themselves out of their arenas for good.