Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Not that it's a surprise, but...

The NHL has announced that it has officially cancelled the 2004-2005 hockey season. And in the process becomes the FIRST major North American professional sports league to lose an entire season due to a labor dispute. Sad news, but the way the talks were going (or rather, not going) it was not really going to end any other way. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was quoted as saying "I have no choice but to cancel the 2004-05 season," adding "This is a sad, regrettable day that all of us wish could have been avoided." Agreed. But when you've got the owners demanding a salary cap, the players saying "No way" and then when they finally bandied about offers on a actual cap - couldn't come to an agreement. Players say "We'll agree to $49 million per team" and owners come back with "Nope. $42.5 million". And they'd both come down already - the players were saying $52 million and the owners wanted $40 million. Darn it, they were so close. And even if they had come to an agreement, this season would have been pretty much over - what would they have done, go straight to the playoffs? I guess hockey fans will have to hope something happens in the interim before next season is supposed to begin - or the whole NHL might just fold and cease to exist.

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