By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
December 30, 2011
The NHL won’t lose regular season games to a lockout.
The NHL’s current CBA is set to expire on September 15, 2012, before the season starts, and many hockey experts agree that the league’s next labor deal could be almost as contentious as the one that canceled the 2004-2005 season.
Among the many issues that will be on NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman’s table come fall are buyouts of guaranteed contracts, player fines for misconduct, players’ ability to play in the 2014 winter Olympic Games in Sochi, and the NHL’s concussion policy.
My take: Two canceled seasons in one sport is two too many. Bettman and Donald Fehr, head of the NHL Players Association and a seasoned negotiation veteran from his MLBPA days, will come to an agreement that may cost the league its preseason international series, but no more lost time on the ice.