The 2013 48-game NHL regular season begins on Saturday, January 19.
For you non-math-types, that’s a three month season that starts in nine days.
I guess the quickest way to forget about this whole fiasco is to get things going as quickly as possible, before the fans have too much time to think about what just happened. Will the fans return? You bet we will, but we’ll feel icky doing it.
There are no winners here, all sides lost.
And nobody noticed, how depressing.
I take solace in the fact that there was not one single piece of NHL news in the last 30 days. Even though all the NHL reporters are still NHL reporting. Also depressing.
The National Hockey League announced the cancellation of the 2012-13 regular-season schedule through November 30 because of the absence of a Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NHL Players’ Association and the NHL.
A total of 326 regular-season games – 26.5 percent of the season — were scheduled for Oct. 11 through Nov. 30.
Most importantly I was supposed to see the Calgary/Vancouver and Ottawa/Montreal season openers, the Hockey Hall Of Fame game in Toronto, and the Caps vs. Leafs during those six weeks. Now the NHL and NHLPA has ruined that. Thanks a lot.
I heard that when an agreement is made, and the games are scheduled (this year or next) that the fans should all show up at that first game dressed in black. For that game there will be no cheering, just 60 mins of black silence. Because we all know we’ll return to the game when the players do, so you may as well show some sign of solidarity.
In a move that surprised no one, except for maybe those fans who thought the last CBA would last at least a decade, the NHL owners and their clubs have locked out the NHL players preventing them from being able to start the 2012/13 season on time.
Although I’ll miss hockey, and I’ll come back, I’ll do what I can to buy as little merchandise and attend fewer games this year. I have to be realistic in that I’m not going to boycott anything completely, I’m not going to miss watching any games in person. But I can stay away from the Saddledome more often this year as a way of trying to remind the owners and the players that it’s a game, not a business, for me. You know me, I’m that guy who gives you the money that you’re now bickering over.
Here is a letter from the Flames to their fans after the lockout began.
Despite the expiration of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the National Hockey League has been, and remains, committed to negotiating around the clock to reach a new CBA that is fair to the Players and to the 30 NHL teams. (around the clock, seriously? that’s not what I’ve heard)
Thanks to the conditions fostered by seven seasons under the previous CBA, competitive balance has created arguably the most meaningful regular season in pro sports; a different team has won the Stanley Cup every year; fans and sponsors have agreed the game is at its best, and the League has generated remarkable growth and momentum. While our last CBA negotiation resulted in a seismic change in the League’s economic system, and produced corresponding on-ice benefits, our current negotiation is focused on a fairer and more sustainable division of revenues with the Players — as well as other necessary adjustments consistent with the objectives of the economic system we developed jointly with the NHL Players’ Association seven years ago. Those adjustments are attainable through sensible, focused negotiation — not through rhetoric. (at it’s best? who says that? It’s been seven years of penalties and rule changes to increase scoring. Whee!)
This is a time of year for all attention to be focused on the ice, not on a meeting room. The League, the Clubs and the Players all have a stake in resolving our bargaining issues appropriately and getting the puck dropped as soon as possible. We owe it to each other, to the game and, most of all, to the fans. (now I may just be a fan, and not at the table – but maybe you guys need to focus first on the meeting room. Maybe this is why things aren’t resolved.)
Very optimistic schedule released today. If the October 11 game happens – colour me shocked. I guess we’ll find out on September 16.
|Thurs.||Oct. 11||Vancouver||Calgary||8:00 PM||CBC|
|Mon.||Oct. 15||Los Angeles||Calgary||7:30 PM||Sportsnet West|
|Thurs.||Oct. 18||Calgary||Phoenix||8:00 PM||Sportsnet Flames|
|Sat.||Oct. 20||Calgary||Colorado||8:00 PM||CBC|
|Wed.||Oct. 24||Calgary||Edmonton||7:00 PM||TSN|
|Thurs.||Oct. 25||Tampa Bay||Calgary||7:00 PM||Sportsnet Flames|
|Sat.||Oct. 27||Washington||Calgary||8:00 PM||CBC|
|Tues.||Oct. 30||Montreal||Calgary||7:00 PM||Sportsnet West|
|Thurs.||Nov. 1||Detroit||Calgary||7:30 PM||Sportsnet Flames|
|Tues.||Nov. 6||Calgary||Columbus||5:00 PM||Sportsnet Flames|
|Thurs.||Nov. 8||Calgary||Nashville||6:00 PM||Sportsnet Flames|
|Fri.||Nov. 9||Calgary||Detroit||5:30 PM||Sportsnet West|
|Sun||Nov. 11||Calgary||Carolina||3:00 PM||Sportsnet Flames|
|Tues.||Nov. 13||Calgary||Montreal||5:30 PM||Sportsnet West|
|Thurs.||Nov. 15||Florida||Calgary||7:00 PM||Sportsnet Flames|
|Sat.||Nov. 17||Chicago||Calgary||8:00 PM||CBC|
|Tues.||Nov. 20||Minnesota||Calgary||7:00 PM||TSN|
|Sat.||Nov. 24||Edmonton||Calgary||8:00 PM||CBC|
|Wed.||Nov. 28||Anaheim||Calgary||7:30 PM||TSN|
|Fri.||Nov. 30||Calgary||Chicago||6:30 PM||TSN|
|Sun.||Dec. 2||Calgary||St. Louis||5:00 PM||Sportsnet Flames|
|Tues.||Dec. 4||Ottawa||Calgary||7:00 PM||Sportsnet West|
|Thurs.||Dec. 6||Dallas||Calgary||7:00 PM||Sportsnet Flames|
|Sun.||Dec. 9||Nashville||Calgary||5:30 PM||Sportsnet West|
|Tues.||Dec. 11||Calgary||Nashville||6:00 PM||Sportsnet West|
|Thurs.||Dec. 13||Calgary||Columbus||5:00 PM||Sportsnet Flames|
|Fri||Dec. 14||Calgary||St. Louis||6:00 PM||Sportsnet West|
|Sun.||Dec. 16||Calgary||Chicago||5:00 PM||Sportsnet Flames|
|Wed.||Dec. 19||Toronto||Calgary||7:30 PM||Sportsnet West|
|Sat.||Dec. 22||Buffalo||Calgary||8:00 PM||CBC|
|Sun||Dec. 23||Edmonton||Calgary||6:00 PM||Sportsnet West|
|Wed.||Dec. 26||Calgary||Vancouver||8:00 PM||Sportsnet Flames|
|Thurs.||Dec. 27||Vancouver||Calgary||7:00 PM||Sportsnet West|
|Sat.||Dec. 29||San Jose||Calgary||2:00 PM||Sportsnet West|
|Mon.||Dec. 31||Boston||Calgary||7:00 PM||Sportsnet West|
|Wed.||Jan. 2||Calgary||Colorado||8:00 PM||Sportsnet West|
|Thurs.||Jan. 3||Calgary||Minnesota||6:00 PM||Sportsnet West|
|Sat.||Jan. 5||Columbus||Calgary||8:00 PM||CBC|
|Wed.||Jan. 9||Colorado||Calgary||7:30 PM||Sportsnet Flames|
|Fri.||Jan. 11||N.Y. Islanders||Calgary||7:00 PM||Sportsnet West|
|Tues.||Jan. 15||San Jose||Calgary||7:30 PM||TSN|
|Thurs.||Jan. 17||Anaheim||Calgary||7:00 PM||Sportsnet West|
|Sat.||Jan. 19||Calgary||Philadelphia||11:00 AM||Sportsnet West|
|Mon.||Jan. 21||Calgary||Pittsburgh||5:00 PM||Sportsnet West|
|Tues.||Jan. 22||Calgary||Detroit||5:00 PM||Sportsnet West|
|Tues.||Jan. 29||Colorado||Calgary||7:30 PM||Sportsnet West|
|Fri.||Feb. 1||Chicago||Calgary||7:30 PM||TSN|
|Mon.||Feb. 4||Calgary||Toronto||5:00 PM||Sportsnet West|
|Tues.||Feb. 5||Calgary||N.Y. Rangers||5:00 PM||Sportsnet West|
|Thurs.||Feb. 7||Calgary||New Jersey||5:00 PM||Sportsnet Flames|
|Sat.||Feb. 9||Calgary||Ottawa||5:00 PM||CBC|
|Mon.||Feb. 11||Dallas||Calgary||7:00 PM||Sportsnet West|
|Wed.||Feb. 13||Minnesota||Calgary||7:30 PM||Sportsnet West|
|Fri.||Feb. 15||St. Louis||Calgary||7:00 PM||Sportsnet West|
|Sun.||Feb. 17||Calgary||Dallas||4:00 PM||Sportsnet West|
|Mon.||Feb. 18||Calgary||Phoenix||7:00 PM||Sportsnet West|
|Wed.||Feb. 20||Los Angeles||Calgary||8:00 PM||TSN|
|Sat.||Feb. 23||Minnesota||Calgary||8:00 PM||CBC|
|Sun.||Feb. 24||Phoenix||Calgary||5:00 PM||Sportsnet West|
|Tues.||Feb. 26||Calgary||Minnesota||6:00 PM||Sportsnet West|
|Thurs.||Feb. 28||Calgary||Winnipeg||6:00 PM||Sportsnet Flames|
|Sat.||Mar. 2||Calgary||Vancouver||8:00 PM||CBC|
|Sun.||Mar. 3||Vancouver||Calgary||5:00 PM||Sportsnet West|
|Tues.||Mar. 5||Calgary||Dallas||6:30 PM||Sportsnet West|
|Thurs.||Mar. 7||Calgary||San Jose||8:30 PM||Sportsnet West|
|Sat.||Mar. 9||Calgary||Los Angeles||8:00 PM||CBC|
|Sun.||Mar. 10||Calgary||Anaheim||6:00 PM||Sportsnet West|
|Wed.||Mar. 13||Detroit||Calgary||7:30 PM||TSN|
|Fri.||Mar. 15||Nashville||Calgary||7:00 PM||Sportsnet West|
|Mon.||Mar. 18||Calgary||Los Angeles||8:30 PM||Sportsnet West|
|Wed.||Mar. 20||Calgary||Anaheim||8:00 PM||Sportsnet West|
|Fri.||Mar. 22||Calgary||Colorado||7:00 PM||Sportsnet West|
|Sun.||Mar. 24||St. Louis||Calgary||5:00 PM||Sportsnet West|
|Tues.||Mar. 26||Calgary||Minnesota||6:00 PM||Sportsnet Flames|
|Wed.||Mar. 27||Colorado||Calgary||8:00 PM||TSN|
|Fri.||Mar. 29||Columbus||Calgary||7:00 PM||Sportsnet West|
|Mon.||Apr. 1||Calgary||Edmonton||7:30 PM||SN West – EDM|
|Wed.||Apr. 3||Edmonton||Calgary||7:00 PM||TSN|
|Fri.||Apr. 5||Calgary||San Jose||8:30 PM||Sportsnet West|
|Sat.||Apr. 6||Calgary||Vancouver||8:00 PM||CBC|
|Thurs.||Apr. 11||Phoenix||Calgary||7:00 PM||Sportsnet West|
|Sat.||Apr. 13||Calgary||Edmonton||8:00 PM||CBC|
Welcome to our 134 new Members from the United States, Canada, Slovakia, Malta and Australia.
We are witnessing, again, two groups of greedy and ungrateful spoiled brats at war.
Two parties are fighting over the money we, the fans, annually dump into their laps for the luxury of watching the highest level of hockey on the planet.
The economic divide has been established between the NHL and the NHLPA in the latest round of collective bargaining. Both sides are content with maintaining a salary cap and revenue sharing system, however, the league is pushing the players to accept 43% of hockey related revenues (HRR), down significantly from the current 57% the players collectively earn each season. The players’ counter proposal calls for “delinking” the HRR from the salary cap. This alternative to the floating amount of income would see a fixed rate of growth for the players’ share over the next three seasons. In season one, the fixed increase towards the players’ financial share would increase by 2%; in year two increase by 4%; and, in year three increase by 6%. In year four, the players propose they hold an option to revert back to the full 57% against the floating or sliding increases/decreases in HRR.
Both proposals (NHL and NHLPA) contain additional, less contentious proposed terms, but let’s focus on revenue sharing and some other new ideas.
Both proposals are ridiculous. The league’s proposal goes too far, calling for a massive rollback in players’ salaries, equal to more than 24% of the players’ existing share of HRR. The players’ proposal is just as silly. It does not go far enough and is a temporary business solution that leaves owners with a cloudy financial future, and possibly nothing gained in year four and beyond.
It’s no surprise that both parties’ are playing a typical bargaining game, but let’s remember this is only the pregame warm-up and a few lightweights are posturing at the red line. These are the early days in the negotiations. The third period is September 10-15 and overtime is beyond that point.
For those of us sitting squarely on the fence, I believe a reasonable solution exists.
Both parties should agree to roll back salaries, to a level that is acceptable in the professional sports sector. To be fair to both sides, the players’ share of HRR should gradually roll back to a 50-50 spilt with owners. Each year, beginning this season, the players’ share of HRR should be reduced by 1%. After six years, the 50-50 split would be achieved. The players would barely notice the financial pain and the owners would be assured of greater gains in a few short years.
For the sake of all stakeholders in the game, especially the fans, the length of the new CBA should be 10 years.
The idea floating around about allowing teams to trade cap space is a good idea. It allows those clubs close to challenging for the Cup to make a push and rewards frugal clubs, who are perennially under the cap limit, to restock in other ways. It also increases player movement, which has been steadily declining over the years.
Penalties and fines for serious on-ice infractions should be determined by a third party group comprised of a player representative, a league representative and three elected fans (paid a per diem for their services). A league official (currently Brendan Shanahan) overseeing these duties does not foster a strong partnership between the league and players.
The fans, who are the primary stakeholders in the game, need a voice in the direction of the NHL. Rule committees need fan representation. It is time for the league and players to recognize that intelligent, unbiased fans exist and can contribute nicely to the game. The battling parties need to do something significant for the fans during these negotiations.
Let’s hope the greedy and ungrateful spoiled brats embattled before us come to their senses before overtime begins.
Olli Jokinen signed a two-year deal, worth $4.5 million per season with the Winnipeg Jets. David Moss has been snapped up by the Phoenix Coyotes. The Flames also have not re-signed free agents Scott Hannan and Tom Kostopoulos.
The Flames have #3.5M left on the cap, and still need to pay Sven Baertschi his $1.5M. So they’ll likely need to shed some salary if they are planning on making any more moves.
“Jiri Hudler is a highly skilled and dynamic offensive player,” said Flames General Manager Jay Feaster. “He is one of the very best goal scorers in the NHL at even strength and he puts a very high percentage of his shots on net, generating scoring chances for himself and rebound opportunities for his teammates. He fits our need to upgrade and improve our skill and we are very pleased to have him on board.”
Hudler has played 409 career games all with the Detroit Red Wings. Over his seven NHL seasons, he has accumulated 87 goals, 127 assists for 214 points and 160 penalty minutes. Last season Hudler scored a career high 25 goals and added 25 assists for 50 points and 42 penalty minutes in 81 games with the Red Wings. Hudler won a Stanley Cup as a member of the Detroit Red Wings in 2008.
So let’s speculate some lines at this particular moment in time, shall we?