The NHL owners have locked out the players since September 15, 2012. The best online betting sites tend to avoid topics like lockouts and strikes because those kinds of activities do not lead to final scores. But the notion that the NHL is once again in a lockout is actually quite startling to most people who bet on the NHL, and extremely annoying to fans of the league.
When the NHL locked the players out and sacrificed the 2004-2005 season, it may have actually been necessary. At the time, NHL teams were going bankrupt and the financial model being used to sustain the league was too heavily skewed in the favor of the players. That being said, the owners need to be reminded that they agreed to pay the salaries that put the league in that position in the first place. Even with its worse contracts, the NHL still pays more than any other professional hockey league in the world. But the owners need to know when enough is enough.
The 2005-2006 season burst onto the scene with a “new” NHL. The poker games played by the players and the owners in 2004 seemed to have created a league that was faster and more exciting. The Buffalo Sabres set the league on fire by winning its first 10 games of the season and showcasing speed over brute force. But as the playoffs rolled around, brute force started to rear its ugly head and the playoffs reverted back to the grinding style of hockey that fans have grown accustomed to.
Thanks to innovations like the annual Winter Classic game, the NHL was able to grow from approximately $2 billion in revenue in 2005 to around $3.3 billion in 2011. The collective bargaining agreement that was signed in 2005 was expiring on September 15, 2012. The sportsbook experts really thought that the owners and players would work hard together to preserve the future of a league that had made huge steps in a very short period of time. But instead of working together to maintain its momentum, the league shot its own foot off and locked the players out again. This time, the results could be catastrophic.
There will always be core hockey fans in certain cities. It is expected that the arenas in Buffalo, Montreal, Boston, Toronto, Chicago and Winnipeg will all be filled as soon as the game is back on the ice. But that is not where the league has seen growth and those cities are not where the NHL is in huge trouble. The Phoenix franchise is close to folding, the attendance for Florida Panthers games in Miami was almost non-existent before the lockout and the Tampa Bay Lighting made a playoff run last season to a half-empty arena.
The online football betting experts saw how important the NFL considers its regular season when the players and owners worked furiously to save the 2011 season. When the 2012-2013 NHL season was in peril just prior to September 15, the two parties were not even talking. The core fans that allow the league to simply exist will take this newest slap in the face and begrudgingly take their seats when the season opens. But the NHL may have just completely killed any chance it had at expanding its league into domains that would have casual fans at best. The NHL has just sacrificed its hard-earned growth and will replace it with losses that could be catastrophic to the league’s future.
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