Next Generation Emulation banner

NHL Season Cancelled

1409 Views 9 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Modem1
nothing is for "the love of the game" anymore....everyone wants their 20 million dollars to play a game, that's all it is :angry:;_y...YwN0bQ--?slug=ap-nhllockout&prov=ap&type=lgns
NEW YORK (AP) -- A hockey season on the brink is now a season gone bust.

The NHL canceled what was left of its decimated schedule Wednesday after a round of last-gasp negotiations failed to resolve differences over a salary cap -- the flash-point issue that led to a lockout.

It's the first time a major pro sports league in North America lost an entire season to a labor dispute. The resulting damage could be immeasurable to hockey, which already has limited appeal in the United States.

``This is a sad, regrettable day that all of us wish could have been avoided,'' NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said.

``Every day that this thing continues we don't think it's good for the game,'' NHLPA executive director Bob Goodenow said in Toronto.

To begin with, all momentum gained in the final days of negotiations has been lost -- late offers that appeared to bring the sides close to a deal are now off the table, and there's no telling when the NHL will get back on the ice.

No Stanley Cup champion will be crowned, the first time that's happened since 1919, when the 2-year-old league called off the finals because of a flu epidemic.

Without an agreement, there can be no June draft. The sport's heralded next big thing, Canadian phenom Sidney Crosby, won't pull on his first NHL sweater anytime soon.

Then there is the parade of aging stars -- Mario Lemieux (39), Mark Messier (44), Steve Yzerman (39) Brett Hull (40), Ron Francis (41), Dave Andreychuk (41) and Chris Chelios (43) -- whose playing days could be ending on someone else's terms.

``This is a tragedy for the players,'' Bettman said. ``Their careers are short and this is money and opportunity they'll never get back,'' Bettman said.

Despite being the NHL's best-known star, there was never a chance that Pittsburgh's Lemieux, the first owner-player in modern American pro sports history, would side with the players.

``A few years ago, I thought the owners were making a lot of money and were hiding some under the table, but then I got on this side and saw the losses this league was accumulating,'' he said Wednesday.

Hockey was already a distant fourth on the popularity scale among the nation's major league sports. The NHL lost the first season of its two-year broadcasting agreement with NBC that was supposed to begin this season, a revenue-sharing deal in which the network is not even paying rights fees.

Taking a year off, or more, will only push the league further off the radar screen.

``The scary part now for hockey is do the fans come back? We're not baseball, we're not the national pastime,'' Nashville forward Jim McKenzie said.

Between shifts of a pickup game at the Denver rink where the Avalanche used to practice, fan Don Cameron called the cancellation ``a shame.''

``When they come back, it's not going to be as easy to pay for a $90 season ticket,'' he said.

Not to mention how difficult it will be for all the ushers, trainers, officials, Zamboni drivers and businesses near arenas that will continue to be affected.

``We profoundly regret the suffering this has caused our fans, our business partners and the thousands of people who depend on our industry for their livelihoods,'' Bettman said.

``If you want to know how I feel, I'll summarize it in one word -- terrible,'' he said.

Bettman said the sides would keep working toward an agreement.

``We're planning to have hockey next season,'' he said.

Goodenow stressed that the players had already given a lot of ground. ``Every offer by the players moved in the owners' direction,'' he said.

``Keep one thing perfectly clear,'' Goodenow said. ``The players never asked for more money -- they just asked for a marketplace.''

The league and players' union traded a flurry of proposals and letters Tuesday night, but could never agree on a cap. The players proposed $49 million per team; the owners said $42.5 million. But a series of conditions and fine print in both proposals made the offers further apart than just $6.5 million per team.

``We weren't as close as people were speculating,'' Bettman said.

Although Bettman was unequivocal in announcing the cancellation, Yzerman held out hope that some kind of a miracle was still possible.

``If you read into what (Bettman) said, it sounds like there is still an opportunity to get things done,'' the Detroit Red Wings captain said. ``The principles are there to make a deal, so I still think something can happen in the next day or two, because we're really not that far apart.''

Goodenow was less optimistic.

``I think it's a fresh start and everything is off the table,'' he said. ``It's a totally new environment. That much is for sure.

``As far as anything happening this afternoon, it's not happening.''

Before Monday, the idea of a salary cap was a deal-breaker for the players' association but the union gave in and said it would accept one when the NHL dropped its insistence that there be a link between revenues and player costs.

That still wasn't enough to end the lockout that started on Sept. 16 and ultimately wiped out the entire 1,230-game schedule that was to begin in October and run through the Stanley Cup finals in June.

And now, those concessions are off the table.

``By necessity we have to go back to linkage since no one knows what the damage to the sport will be,'' Bettman said.

The NHL's last game came in June, when the Tampa Bay Lightning beat Calgary 2-1 in Game 7 to win the Stanley Cup.

Since then, a lot of stars have moved on, going overseas to play. Jaromir Jagr, Vincent Lecavalier, Teemu Selanne, Joe Thornton and Saku Koivu are among the over 300 of the league's 700-plus players who spent part of this season playing in Europe.

Whenever a deal is reached, there won't be a clear-cut way to determine the draft order. Washington had the No. 1 selection last year and grabbed Russian sensation Alexander Ovechkin. No doubt the lowly Capitals would love to go first again to pick Crosby.

Shortly after Bettman took over as commissioner, a lockout cut the 1994-95 regular season to 48 games, still more than half the schedule.

The NHL began preparing for the possibility of another lockout in 1998 when each team contributed $10 million toward a $300 million war chest. The collective bargaining agreement, which expired on Sept. 15, was extended twice after it was originally signed in 1995. That allowed for the NHL to complete its expansion plans without interrupting play.

``We lived through a decade of a collective bargaining agreement that didn't work,'' Bettman said. ``It doesn't matter whose fault it was.''

A year ago, there were those who said at least one season was sure to be lost and that two was not out of the question.

``We never doubted that the union had the support and the backing of its players,'' Bettman said. ``I hope when this is over they'll think that it's worth it.''
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
That's what you get for turning sports into buisness...

god i hate them....
really hope this doesnt last 2 seasons also.
Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer...

... ok, maybe when you're in a coal mine strike action is cool, but for playing ice hockey they should just shut up and play. Unless you get a major injury playing the sport you really shouldn't complain about the strains of working a few days a week and earning millions every year. I hate these overpaid slabs of meat complaining about ****.

David Beckham for instance, when he was bought by Real Madrid one newspaper said that he had been "sold like a slave." Yeah right, a slave earning £175,000 per week. Makes me angry.
It's just stupid seeing multi-millionaires saying they don't want to make 6 million a year for playing a game, damn annoying too. It's not like the end of the season came as news but still... i'd rather they bring in guys from the minor leagues then listen to these sissies complain about it another year. They should really suck it up, they make tons more than normal people do anyways
Yep, the passion for sports went out the window long time ago when they had the ideas of contracts having to be $20mil. Personally they should just have above average salaries than the regular joe blow, I mean if you love the sports so much, money should not be an issue. Oh well that is the way humans are in this world.
pfft..I knew the season was finished long ago. And the players are all wimps, complaining that they will bemaking like only 2 mill a year instead of 10. Cry me a river. I'm not really sad that the season is cancelled, the quality of the game has deteriorated over the years anyways. I'm just curious about this plan Bettman was talking about making the NHL better than ever as he said during the press conference.
Good news for me! J.Williams has been good addition to team Ässät (where he is playing now and waited the judgement of current NHL season). :lol:
I am Canadian... the demise of hockey doesn't really bother me.

I don't see how the NHL can sustain itself based on an economic model that caters to a country which doesn't really give a fig about the sport. Give me a break... the WNBA and Poker are drawing higher ratings than the NHL. Working under Bettman's "spread hockey all around the U.S. where nobody gives a fig" model, hockey is permanently screwed.
I'm personally glad. I mean, come on, when teams are making MORE MONEY for not having a season than they would if they did, you gotta think that you have to redo something or another to help fix that. Besides that, the only game I will even ever watch would be the 7th game of the finals.
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.