The NHL has lost nearly 35 percent of its regular season after it cancelled all games through December 14, including the All-Star game, the league announced Friday.
The 2013 All-Star Game was scheduled to be held in Columbus, Ohio on January 27. This would have marked the first time that the Blue Jackets organization hosted the event. With 422 games already lost in the 2012-2013 NHL season even if an agreement was reached in the near future the All-Star Game would likely remain cancelled. NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly stated that the NHL will “work closely with the Blue Jackets organization to return the NHL All-Star events to Columbus and their fans as quickly as possible,” as reported by The Huffington Post.
Last week the NHL rejected the latest offer from the players union. For the first time, the players offered owners a share of hockey-related revenue based off of a percentage rather than a guaranteed amount. According to The Washington Post, with this offer hockey-related revenue would have been split 50-50 with the owners in the first year of a five-year agreement, but after that owners would have had to contribute $393 million for a “make whole” provision that guarantees the value of existing contracts. The league had previously offered $211 million.
As the NHL lockout continues NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman estimates that the league is losing around $18-20 million per day.
Besides financial issues, the owners and players also remain far apart on player contract rights, how to schedule a lockout-shortened season, and other key issues.
After the league dismissed the player’s latest proposal, rumors began as to whether or not the NHLPA would consider voting on decertification. If the NHLPA decertifies it would allow players to file anti-trust lawsuits against the NHL. However, NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr explained “We haven’t decertified, we haven’t talked publicly about decertification,” as reported by The Washington post.
With more than one-third of its season gone and no scheduled labor negotiations between the two sides, it is starting to look less and less likely that the NHL will return to action this season. However, if the owners and players agree to start meeting again and real progress takes place this can all change quickly.