The 2012-13 NHL season doesn't look like it's going to begin any time soon; unfortunately for the fans, players and employees involved within the organizations, that prediction may quickly turn into indefinitely.
According to a story in the Washington Times by Stephen Whyno, the NHL has canceled the entire November schedule, bringing the grand total of missed games this year to 326.
So, if not November...when?
The players seem to have an optimistic idea on the timeline, believing that the NHL canceling games is nothing more than a "scare tactic." A feeling resonated by Washington Capitals right wing, Troy Brouwer, who said in the article:
Those cancellations aren’t set in stone until the games have already passed. So for us we’re still considering that even though they have canceled the games all the way to the 30th, that’s not necessarily a mandatory cancellation.
Without question, it's the player's job to state the positive from their side (especially when understanding that time is not a huge issue...when you have money, of course). However, the real question surrounding this lockout actually comes from people behind the scenes; the ones making the league move without the benefit of skates.
What about the people involved with the NHL not making $1000-a-slap shot?
I spoke to one person that is involved with an NHL organization about the lockout. The original inside info being babbled was the league would begin sometime around Christmas, possibly, bit not for absolute certainty.
Now, following the recent news, he is unsure when the league will begin, causing more than just an issue of job-status concerns, but more importantly, issue abut money.
While the players can hold out, wanting more of this, less of that—the whole time knowing that employment is just a flight across the pond to Russia, or parts unknown—the employees behind-the-scene in the organization are left wondering what to do.
It's unfortunate—and happens in any sport that has union lockouts— but the thought-process for the employees is this: They don't have the ability to become Equipment Manager in Russia while they wait for the NHL to get moving; time is not on their side.
Hopefully for the entire NHL, the players and the Union understand that, completely.