This week, the National Hockey League and the NHL Players’ Union held three consecutive days of negotiation on a new collective bargaining agreement. The current agreement expires on September 15. The league’s initial offer cut the players’ share of hockey-related revenue from 57 percent to 46 percent.
Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News wrote that the real fight on this CBA will be between owners and owners, not owners and players. Kennedy talked about the negotiations this week on Only A Game.
“In the NHL, you have big-market teams like the Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers and the Philadelphia Flyers,” Kennedy said. “On the other end, you have a team like the Nashville Predators, who may lose their best player, Shea Weber, to an offer sheet the Philadelphia Flyers just made for an amount of money that Nashville just can’t produce right now. This is just an example of what the ‘have-not’ owners are concerned about.”
The 2004-05 NFL season was cancelled because the owners and players couldn’t reach an agreement. Has the loss of a season changed the way either side approaches negotiations?
“Because of the momentum hockey has built up since that lockout, I think a lot of people are looking at this and saying, ‘We can’t blow this again,’” Kennedy said. “They know that hockey is the fourth of the four big sports in America, and some might argue that it may not even be in the same category as baseball, football and basketball.”