NHL Labor Talks Come Down to the Wire
National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman will cancel the 2013 season if no labor deal is done by January 11. There are apparently seven to eight issues still on the table. Things were progressing until last night when there was some conflict over previously resolved issues. Many fans are very frustrated because each party’s desired money ideal is slightly different. The other major sports leagues in America resolve these issues more quickly.
ESPN’s Barry Melrose believes that this lockout will take more of a hit on fans than the previous one. He spoke recently on an ESPN webcast saying that there will not be big rule changes to please the fans this time after the lockout and that two lockouts in 10 years have made the fans angry.
The intriguing thing about this labor situation is that even though a deal is very possible to strike before the deadline, the players’ union has threatened to disband even before the deadline, which at this point would in all likelihood end the season. The NHLPA could have disbanded Tuesday night, but decided to hold off due to progression. After Wednesday’s talks, the union would probably regret its decision. The players’ advantage of letting the union disband is that it allows players to individually sue the NHL, which some say could lead to a deal, but it would prolong the process.