NHL season saved? We can only hope
In September of 2012, not many knew that the NHL lockout would continue all the way to January. What started as an argument over collective bargaining agreement’s expiration snowballed to a host of issues regarding player salaries, term limits and free agency rules. The NHL was temporarily shut down, causing several players to travel to other leagues or even countries to play hockey.
Time is running out for plans to play a shortened season. Already the All-Star game has been cancelled, but both sides hope to reach an agreement so that the NHL will indeed play in 2013. Still, there are a few glimmers of hope for the so-far-lost NHL season.
NESN reports that Teemu Selanne of the Anaheim Ducks claims that there “is a light at the end of the tunnel.” That could mean good news for hockey fans as quite a few players have some small hopes that a shortened season may begin some time in mid-January.
In fact, The Pittsburgh Tribune has gone so far as to label Jan. 19 as the opening day of a 48-game season for the Penguins versus the Philadelphia Flyers. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has said that 48 games is the shortest the season will be, so if the players and owners cannot meet and agree on a new labor contract then the season will be lost.
It has been a very long winter for hockey fans across the United States. A winter without hockey is sad to some and downright depressing to many. Hopefully a new labor contract can be agreed upon and a shortened season may begin soon. It may not be the same as what we are used to each winter from the NHL, but it will at least be better than nothing. Until then check for more updates as the talks continue.