Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 10/30/12 at 09:30 AM ET
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
It's been two weeks since any negotiations for a collective agreement were held, and the NHL is stubbornly refusing to meet the NHL Players' Association because it claims the union will not negotiate off the owners' last offer, a frustrating bit of semantics. Semantics or not, there is no sign of any reason for the NHL to hold off on cancelling the outdoor game.
A lot of good will also vanishes with the cancellations, although this is not unusual for a league that loves to cut off its nose to spite its face. In the last five years, the Winter Classic has done more to attract casual fans to the sport through the game itself and the HBO television reality series 24/7 that chronicles both teams than any other event. Cancelling the game will tell those fans how much the NHL thinks of them.
But the striking aspect of this is that killing the event will hurt the NHL owners themselves more than it does the players. Most of the money from the 115,000 fans that were expected to pack the Michigan stadium and set a world record for attendance at a hockey game goes directly to the league, along with all the other revenue generated by the event.
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