After a banner year that saw revenues increase again in the NHL there is concern that another lockout or at least work stoppage will occur. At the end of the Finals it was a bit depressing. In my mind I was thinking is this the last live NHL hockey game I will see for over a year? Are we in for a repeat of 2005 - the lost season? If the NHL and NHLPA are wise they will not do this to their fans again. Hockey fans are loyal, but losing more games due to politics will damage the game greatly.
I am by no means a professor of sport business or even business. So, let me link you to several posts I found helpful as we look forward to the NHL Draft tonight, free agency July 1, and then the black hole of CBA talks.
HK Sport Business Blog
This link provides a succinct overview of the contentions between the NHL and NHLPA.
Pro Ice Hockey - NHL Lockout in 2012?
Is it time to worry yet? from SB Nation
I think it is time to worry if you enjoy the NHL. We are living in an era where owners and players do not get along. In the past 20 years all of the big 4 professional sports have lost substantial parts of seasons (baseball and hockey did not crown a champion). It is possible to have labor strife in the NFL, NBA, and NHL in a one-year period. Ridiculous.
The NHL and NHLPA, despite their past history, need to think about getting this CBA done by September for the fans. The NFL is a megalithic entity that could solve just about anything, but the NFL still found a way to finish labor talks and not lose meaningful games partially because of the fear of fan reactions.