NHL Lockout Ends: Play Begins This MonthJanuary 7, 2013
The NHL lockout is over. The NHL and Players Association reps finally came to a tentative ten-year collective bargaining agreement that will give players a 50-50 split of hockey related revenue, which totaled $3.3 billion dollars in 2011-2012.
Player contracts are only seven years, eight if they’re signing with the same team. The salary cap for this season will stay at $70.2 million and will be reduced next year to $64.3 million.
Players are set to hit the ice this month after the third lockout in a decade. I guess the big question is will the fans come back?
The worst thing about the lock this season was one thing, fans realized that they don’t need hockey to be entertained. There are plenty of other sports and activities to occupy viewers other than the great ice dance.
In monitoring the social media trends since the lockout, I haven’t seen one post about fans missing hockey. And since the deal has been reached, a few diehard fans have expressed some joy about their beloved sport getting back on track, but most remain unaffected.
Hockey has always been the red-headed step child of professional sports.They’re still part of the major four, but never get the same media attention as NFL, NBA and MLB. Most games are televised on local broadcasting stations, while the others get sporadic coverage from sports networks.
Out of all the pro sports that couldn’t afford a lockout, the NHL has to be at the top of that list. I don’t think fans should respond with as many welcoming arms as previous times, as the league continues to put them on the backburner in hopes that a percentage of them come back.
And if they don’t this year, they’ll be back eventually.
This is why the NHL will remain dead last in all categories, including fans.The league better be careful, professional curling is really starting to look like the next supersport.