|Lockout Over, Better late than never|
|Written by Sam Isdale, Reporter|
|Wednesday, 16 January 2013 15:59|
Although it took the NHL and the NHLPA 119 days to make the decision, some fans may say a very smart decision, the NHL lockout is finally over.
Four long months led up to the day where an exhausting 16 hour discussion ended the lockout. Different members of the NHL and the NHLPA ultimately reached a 10-year agreement through a memorandum of understanding using electronic votes. This took place last Saturday and bled into the early hours of Sunday morning at Hotel Sofitel in Manhattan. Now, outraged players, coaches, owners and fans can finally say “bye-bye” to the lockout and “hello” to hockey season.
Along with the 10-year agreement for the league, the players are held to seven years with the exceptions of an eight-year limit if players decide to resign with their clubs. The decision also made it so that players’ salaries cannot vary more than 35 percent from year-to-year. The players’ final salaries will not go above 50 percent of their highest paid year. Before the lockout, players were at a 57-43 benefit in annual revenue and now it is at 50-50.
I’m sure many fans had their doubts about this lockout ending, but for many, the lockout didn’t just end — a miracle happened.
It could be a “miracle” for those people who work on the corporate franchise side of things, but this was their decision in the end. The real miracle happened for those who work at the actual arena, local businesses who support the NHL and for the fans.
Millions of dollars have been lost within the time frame that the NHL lockout occurred. Local businesses produced less revenue which meant cutting hours, people have lost jobs and some businesses have had to think about closing their doors.
According to USAToday.com, Joe Kasel, who is the owner of the Eagle Street Grille in St. Paul, Minn., had to cut 32 of his 48 employees because business was lacking due to the lockout. He even composed a letter for NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, voicing his concerns about the lockout.
Many fans probably didn’t even think about how thin the ice really was for those other than the players, coaches and owners.
The fast-paced and aggressive game of hockey is back bringing joy to many people’s lives, but did the greed and power-hungry attitudes of the NHL really make a point?
Points that were in fact made were the loss of millions to the league and other businesses and that the owners of these local businesses that were affected hope the end of the lockout brings them up above the icy waters.
Last Sunday was the day players reunited with their teammates and coaches, as they began practicing for the rest of the season. All teams are scheduled to play 48 games this season.
The Chicago Blackhawks will play their first game in Los Angeles against the Kings on Saturday, but the home opener at the Madhouse on Madison for the Hawks will on Tuesday against the St. Louis Blues.
Better late than never? Whether people agree or disagree, the decision has been made. The lockout is over. Time to drop the puck and play some hockey.