At 12:00 AM, EST on Sunday, September 16th, 2012, the National Hockey League's Collective Bargaining Agreement with it's Player's Association expired. In a unanimous decision, all 30 owners of NHL teams have agreed to lockout their players from any team or league-related events. Games will be cancelled. Paychecks will be forfeited. Signed contracts will be ignored.
And nobody stopped to think about the children.
The disagreement is over percentage points. In the grand scheme of things it seems so silly. The NHL generated a record $3.3 billion last year. Under the CBA that the owners fought so hard for just 7 years ago, owners are crying poor. The same owners who are shelling out $100 million contracts to players who were not selected to participate in last year's All-Star Game **cough cough**. The same owners who missed loan repayment deadlines are the same people signing Russian Left Wingers to 15 year contracts **cough cough**.
If Gary Bettman had someone giving him a performance evaluation, I'd love to be in the room for that awkward moment when his 3rd work stoppage was brought up. The one that happened right after his sport's popularity peaked. How do you explain that one, Gary? As a fan I am disgusted, overwhelmed, betrayed, nauseous, frustrated, and remarkably angry at the business end of the sport I love most. I thought they got it right last time. I put up with the loss of the 2004-05 season because that was supposed to be the solution. It was never supposed to happen again, let alone as soon as the contract - the one that the owners locked their players out to get the in the first place, expired.
This morning I woke up hungover and confused. I have stitches in my thumb from where I accidentally sliced my finger trying to eat an orange (I swear, me cutting myself and the NHL lockout are completely coincidental). The first thing I did was not to grab the aspirin which I so desperately needed. But instead I checked online in case of some weird miracle that an agreement was made (there was none), and began going through my drawers and pulling out all of my NHL gear. I began taking down my banners and flags and autographed sticks, throwing them in a pile with my hats, t-shirts, jerseys and shirt-jerseys. Those too, will be locked out, in a closet with along with my bike and my drum-set that I never use. They will rest in peace along with the record revenues that they helped to generate.