Do you believe there will be a lockout? Why?
Lyle Richardson: Perhaps I’m too optimistic, but I think it can be avoided. The atmosphere between the two sides isn’t poisonous as it was the last two times around, and despite some of the early posturing on both sides, I get the sense there’s a genuine desire on both sides to get something done to avoid any delays to the season. Of course, the possibility exists negotiations could stretch beyond September 15th, resulting in a possible delay to the start of the season, but if that happens, I’m guessing it’ll last a matter of weeks, not months.
Paul Kukla: Right here, right now I am warning both parties to not even think about going in that direction. They will lose fans and I am talking about faithful fans too.
Personally, I would probably stop blogging if there is another lockout. I remember covering it and believe me, it is no fun and this job is supposed to be fun.
So please NHL and NHLPA, no lockout, no excuses, just get it done by September 15th!
Why do I believe there will not be a lockout? See above, I am sure many others feel the same way as I do.
Jesse Spector: Maybe I’m just an optimist, but I don’t think there will be a lockout — at least not one that costs the NHL actual game time. Both sides should be aware that the risks of a work stoppage are greater than the rewards of fully getting their way at the bargaining table. Gary Bettman and ownership should remember the last lockout, and Donald Fehr went through the cancellation of the World Series in baseball. There is too much at stake, and the league is doing too well, to go down that road.
Tyler Altemose: I don’t believe there is going to be a lockout. I think many fans were apprehensive about the fact that the league and players came into conflict regarding the issue of modifying the divisional breakdown and playoff format. Personally, I look to the fact that the two sides have at least agreed to extend the current CBA to allow them time to assess the situation. To me, it hints at a lesser degree of tension between the two camps.
There is a lot at stake and a lot of complicated issues to iron out, including the cap floor, players’ share of NHL revenues, guaranteed contracts, and escrow to name a few. All things considered, I believe the previous lockout is too fresh on not only the league’s and players’ minds, but on fans’ minds as well. Never mind seeing what has happened to the NFL and NBA. They understand that they cannot allow an unwillingness to compromise be a detriment to the league. The NHL is growing in popularity—the last thing it needs now is for that growth to be stunted.