NHL Labor Deal Set to Expire

By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek

September 7, 2012

The NHL’s collective bargaining agreement expires on Saturday, and the league and players seem poised for a work stoppage. At issue is what percentage of hockey-related revenue will go to the players and a “management rights clause” that would give owners unilateral control over decisions including realignment and playoff formats.

The Detroit Red Wings already canceled their annual prospects tournament because of the uncertainty surrounding labor negotiations. Now, it’s increasingly unlikely training camps will start on time. Deals oftentimes don’t happen until the last minute, and the September 15 CBA expiration date isn’t necessarily the “last minute.” Assuming a deal is reached within a few weeks, the NHL could still play a full regular season schedule.

It’s no surprise the NHL wants players to take a pay cut, especially after the NBA and NFL scored similar collective bargaining wins last year. But with the NHL finally overcoming the 2004-05 lockout that claimed an entire season, now isn’t the time to further alienate fans.

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