Labor agreements tend to be about protecting the little guy, but the NHL's chronic labor troubles spring from owners' inability to save themselves from themselves.
Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press/AP
When the National Hockey League and its Players' Association produced a new labor deal early Sunday, following a 16-hour negotiating session in New York City, the lockout had taken 113 days and claimed nearly half the 2012-13 season. This after lockouts consumed the entire 2004-05 season and part of the 1994-95 season. Surely, there must have been a good reason?
Analysts tracking the stalemate say it was relatively simple, and it points to a chronic problem made worse by the NHL's ill-advised expansion in the 1990s: Many of hockey's owners are repeatedly drawn into spending more money than they have in a bid to be competitive, meaning the once-a-decade labor negotiations become a desperate attempt to persuade players to help save the owners from themselves.
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