NHL scratches two more weeks of games, kills 2013 All-Star Game
On paper, today's cancellation represents only two weeks worth of regular season hockey games. Games had already been canceled through November 30. The trouble with today's announcement is the very clear possibility that the next cancellation announced will be the entire remainder of the NHL season.
The league announced the cancellation of more NHL games plus the All-Star Game on Friday. That brings the total number of lost games to 422, representing nearly 35% of the 2012-13 NHL season. The season would have started October 11.
Fans with tickets to the All-Star game in Columbus, or the other skills competitions and events scheduled for All-Star weekend, will receive full refunds. For many, that won't be enough.
"You knew it was coming, but I hoped that they would get together and fix (the lockout) up," Columbus Blue Jackets season ticket holder Brian Jack told the Sporting News. "For season-ticket holders who have watched the Blue Jackets struggle for a number of years with the product on the ice, the All-Star game was supposed to be a bright spot. Now that's gone."
It looked like a light at the end of the lockout tunnel Wednesday, when the NHL and the players' union met in person. The players submitted a proposal that accepted the 50-50 revenue split that the owners had sought (players had been making 57% of the NHL's revenue in recent seasons).
There was, however, a catch in the players' 50-50 proposal. The players still want the full value of contracts already signed to be honored, rather than scaled down to meet the 50-50 threshold. Owners have offered $211 million for a "make whole" provision -- a fund that would go toward compensating players who saw the value of their individual contract to go down. The players have countered this by requesting that the "make whole" fund be valued at $393 million.
In other words, the sides are really only $182 million apart. Now consider that last season, the NHL reported $3 billion in revenue. So apparently the NHL and its players are willing to lose $3 billion to argue over $182 million.