Alexander Ovechkin joins Russian team. No NHL hockey this year?
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According to the NHL, the strategy, which cut player share down from 75 percent, worked: Seven different teams have won the Stanley Cup since, and the league overall is thriving. Revenues have grown 50 percent since the last lockout, according to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, and the league recently signed a 10-year, $200 million per year broadcasting deal with NBC and the cable channel Versus (now NBC Sports Newtork).
But so far, neither side has budged, and no formal meetings between the NHLPA and the league have been scheduled.
The lockout will be costly for players: In addition to not receiving a paycheck (unless, weirdly, they are injured), players can’t use NHL facilities, meaning that if the lockout continues, they will have to rent ice rink space in order to train. But for the owners, it could be devastating: Nearly two thirds of the NHL’s revenues come from ticket sales, and teams will still be on the hook for any signing bonuses due to players who inked deals in the off-season.
Pro sports fans, meanwhile, are getting used to this sort of thing: The NHL lockout is the third for a major pro sports league in 18 months, following the NFL and NBA lockouts last year. The NFL resolved its issues and got the season under way on time, but the NBA started late and compressed its regular season from 82 to 66 games.