Although it’s nearing the end of summer and autumn beckons, it seems like it would be much too early to talk about the upcoming hockey season.
Except, that is, when the clock is ticking on whether the National Hockey League will actually hit the ice this year, or next.
It may still be August but concern is mounting for many Canadians about whether the league and its players can get a collective agreement signed before Sept. 15, the day the current deal ends and the day the NHL says it will lock out the players if a new agreement isn’t reached.
Haven’t we seen this bad movie sometime in the recent past? Yes, it’s deja vu all over again from when the 2004-05 season was wiped out, which of course is the last time these two sides had to work out a collective agreement.
Many hope and believe that such a drastic outcome can be avoided, but as the time ticks down, and the rhetoric heats up, that optimism begins to wane.
And for many, trying to choose sides between the owners (billionaires) and the players (millionaires) leaves much to be desired. The fans’ (neither) enthusiasm for the game begins to wane.
It would be nice if the two sides could find a way to get past their respective ‘proposals,’ and through compromise and realistic bargaining, not to mention good faith, find a way to get the 2012-13 season back on track.
There is common ground here. The players and owners have both benefitted greatly from the game of hockey, not to mention from the fans who so faithfully watch from the stands and on TV.
For everyone’s sake, let’s get this deal done, and sooner rather than later.