By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
December 28, 2012
As the calendar turns to 2013, the biggest story of the new year is the NHL Lockout. The NHL in September began its third lockout under Commissioner Gary Bettman’s 20-year tenure and its second work stoppage in the last eight years. Unless a resolution is reached between the league and its players by mid-January, according to those in the know, the entire 2012-2013 season is in jeopardy.
While the league will receive $200 million in national media revenue from NBC even if it never drops a puck, at stake is the long term health of a $3.3 billion business and the NHL’s reputation with its stakeholders.
If the league can settle its labor impasse in time to salvage a 48-game season, then its fan base may stay intact. However, when a recent survey revealed that 58% of Canadians, for whom hockey is as essential as eating and breathing, don’t care if the season is saved, the NHL may have rough ice ahead.