After last weeks roller coaster ride of will the NHL lockout end or not, and all the hoopla about an abbreviated NHL season, we learned it was just the NHL and NHLPA getting our hopes up once again as they’ve already done so many times before.
No new collective bargaining agreement was put into place even though many were starting to believe that a new CBA would be in place by the weekend. I mean all I kept hearing was “they’re so close” and “it’s got to happen this week”, while some reporters and fans even went as far as to start predicting what a possible abbreviated NHL schedule might look like.
Not so fast said the NHL and NHLPA as the talks turned sour and ultimately ended with the NHL rejecting the NHLPA’s latest offer. The two sides then walked away from the meetings without any future formal discussions planned.
As expected this week the NHL was kind enough to cancel games though December 30th and I say “kind” sarcastically because canceling games through December 30th leaves the door open for a possible first week of January start to the NHL season. They apparently want us fans to get our hopes up one last time before they rip our collective hearts out and don’t get me wrong, I hope I’m wrong here, but does anyone really feel good about this situation?
Out of fairness I should note that the last time the NHL had a shortened season due to a lockout was back during 1994-95 when the NHL played a 48 game schedule. The 1994-95 lockout ended on January 11th, so while there is still time for a season and some of us are hoping for one, The NHL and NHLPA are running out of time and us fans are running out of hope.
Finally, for those keeping score at home thats a total of 526 NHL games that have been cancelled so far, including the Winter Classic and All Star games. That comes out to roughly 43% of this season being lost due to this completely unnecessary NHL lockout and to make you feel even better about those numbers I’ll remind you that these two sides can’t even agree on when to meet. At the time this article was written the NHL and NHLPA had no future plans for formal CBA talks but apparently they’ve discussed the idea of meeting, whatever the heck that means.
I guess for now NHL writers will have to keep covering breaking stories about podiums being set up. Have the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championships started yet?