Well, it’s hit the fan now hockey fans and Bruins Nation. What we all were fearing has occured. Yesterday, the National Hockey League announced today the cancellation of the remainder of the 2012 preseason schedule. The cancellation of the preseason schedule was necessary due to an absence of a Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NHL and the players’ union. Formal talks are reported to start up again today, but both sides are gearing up for what looks like a very short season(if there even is one).
While my hope is fading, there are a few things that make me wonder how strong the resolve of the owners is. Granted, the Board of Governors did vote 30-0 in regards to enforcing the lockout that started at 12:00EST on September 15th. The question is: How long can the teams that are in financial distress hang on? Can teams like the Florida Panthers, the Saint Louis Blues, and the Phoenix Coyotes stay solvent with the loss of an entire season? Doubtful. If this season continues to be held in abeyance we will see team owners chomping at the bit to compromise. Those owners may take a second look at the revenue sharing plan that would give those weaker teams more stability and a chance to be profitable.
The second big issue would have to be called the “cattle drive” argument. When the NHL hit the Detroit Red Wings organization with a $250,000 fine for its senior vice president’s cattle remarks, it said something to me. First the league didn’t want it’s dirty laundry aired in the public eye. (No matter how badly some owners and operators really see their players as such.) However, Bettman and the league slapped down someone who AGREED with their position. I don’t know about you, but it sort of reminds me of the old Soviet Russia. The good old days where any form of dissention got you a one-way trip to the gulag for you to work out your problems with the state until you froze to death. How will Bettman and the league react when the ownership gets split between the economic haves and the have nots. Will an owner civil war lead to a faster negotiation, or will it just turn any chance of a 2012-2013 season into a sad pipe dream?
The regular season is still(as of now)going to open on October 11th. Sadly, I doubt this will happen. At the rate we’re going Causeway Crowd will be giving you all the latest and greatest information on the AHL Providence Bruins. On some level, we’ve seen quite a few of the current Providence roster rock the big B jersey, and we know that some of them will become members of the Boston squad. I wouldn’t mind writing for and about them. But Bruins fans, we know it wouldn’t be the same.