It has been a few weeks since we’ve talked Dallas Stars hockey with the Olympics going on and being in the midst of the NHL offseason. Now normally, the old saying goes that no news is good news. However, that is not the case when it comes to the NHL and talks with the NHLPA on a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) to hopefully avoid yet another NHL lockout.
The players proposal (last week)seemed to be a good compromise with the one that the NHL presented earlier. Not so fast, according to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman who says that the two sides are “not on the same page.” A wide gap remains, and the current CBA is set to expire on September 15th.
The players have said that they will begin the season even without a new CBA if enough progress is being made towards a new deal. The NHL owners have said they will not do that and plan to lock out the players should a new deal not be reached.
This is completely ridiculous. It is time for the two sides to lock themselves in a room until they put together a deal. The NHL was completely embarrassed by losing a full season in 2004-05 due to their lockout and it took an enormous amount of work to get the game back to where it is today. Thanks in part to the Winter Olympics in 2010 and stars like Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, the NHL is in a very good place today. Ratings for the playoffs last year were terrific. Hockey is starting to be talked about more and more. And they want to ruin that?
I am not blaming the players in this. They gave up a lot in the first deal. Hockey revenues are up and they want their fair share. What’s wrong with that? The owners are the one who are pushing the lockout. They need to give a little as well and it appears they are not willing to do that yet. It would be catastrophic if the NHL endures another lockout, even if it’s not for a full season. This would be the third lockout under Bettman’s watch. Forget the fact that the NBA and NFL both had lockouts recently. They are both hugely popular. The NHL is trying to reach that same level and a lockout will crush all of the positive steps that have been made in recent years.
So, to both the NHL and the NHLPA, I say to you, “get a deal done!” Let’s have hockey this season. There is an enormous amount of excitement for this season in fan bases like Minnesota and Dallas. Don’t wreck all of the goodwill you’ve created in recent seasons. Get a deal done before September 15th that benefits both sides. It’s much more simple than you’re making it out to be. The fate of this NHL season I fear is truly written in the stars.