Well, the NHL and the players union couldn’t come to a deal in time, so NHL season has been canceled. While there were rumors of progress in the last few days, including the players backing down from their steadfast opposition to a salary cap, the two sides just couldn’t come to an agreement over how to fairly compensate players while allowing teams to remain financially secure. The failure to agree also puts June’s draft and the start of the 2005–06 season in limbo.
The league may try to impose its will by going to the courts, which would lead to a players’ strike. Under that scenario, next season would be played, but by free agents, minor leaguers, and other “scabs.” (hmm… maybe I should learn to skate?)
You have to feel for the elder statesmen of the game who may see their careers end because the puckheads running the show couldn’t get their acts together. Let’s hope that the NHL leadership—both players and owners—take this tragedy and use it to really improve the game. That’s the only possible good outcome of this mess.