The hope I was feeling a few weeks ago regarding the NHL Lockout has been replaced by apathy. Neither side seems to be in a rush to solve anything. Both sides seem willing to let sand flow through the hourglass as they sit and wait for the other to make a “realistic” offer. The NHL cancelled game through November and news came down yesterday the league is thinking about shutting down the Winter Classic. This seems to be nothing more than an attempt to scare the Players Association by taking the Winter Classic out of the equation. Doing so will take away some of the leverage the union has since it is believed that NHL will not risk its premier event. Cancelling the Winter Classic does not seem to be in the best interest considering all the dollars associated with the event. However, I stopped thinking rational thought between the two sides was an option a long time ago.
Paul Kelly thinks he has found a way for the union and NHL to end this lockout, expand the league. According to the article written by Ken Campbell for The Hockey News, the former executive director of the player’s union thinks expanding the league to north Toronto and Quebec City is the perfect solution to this stalemate. He believes expansion will bring in “at the very least 600 million” in fees for the owners. That money, in his view, will help the owners and players narrow the gap between the two sides. To promote stability between the two sides, he also proposes a longer agreement around nine years with an option for a tenth. Decent article, but I see little that either side would agree to.
Is expansion the best course of action? Is Canada the only logical place to expand? Would expansion prohibit growth as it would water down the talent pool? If there is one certainty with the NHL and NHLPA, when it seems they take a step forward they always find a way to turn around and run in the other direction.