Days of Lockout! When will it end?
With either side showing no signs of budging. This lockout is leaving fans with only memories of last season's games. The last negotiation session was September 9th and owners have been content to sit back on their heals and let the players stew in a void with no income coming in. The fans aren't the only ones being left out in the cold as non-profit organizations are also becoming casualties in this war of concepts and ideas. Non-profit organizations stand to lose over one billion in lost donations that come from money raised by the teams. The benefits and functions organized by the teams for these non-profits will not happen this year putting an extra burden on those individuals that they help.
What of the fans? Once this situation is resolved, how will the fans react to the teams once the lockout has been lifted? Fans now are already feeling that they are the ones who were let down and they blame both the owner and the players for the mess. Something tells me that hockey fans won't be so nice. This is nearly the same situation as when Baseball had their last big strike and the season was cancelled. Fans were left hanging and they took their frustrations out on the sport once the strike was over. Baseball was never the same after that but it recovered and so did the fan base. The same will happen for Hockey. The fans will be angry for a while, Hockey will never be the same but eventually all will be forgiven and forgotten and the puck will slide again.
The Problem: Owners want less of the profits paid out to the players. Both can't agree on the percentage of the profits that were paid out to the players last season. The owners say 75%, the players association disagrees with that number. The owners want cost certainty where more of the profits will end up in their own pockets. The players association sees this move as an attempt to put caps on salaries, to which the Union would never agree.
Proposed Solution: Owners presented six solutions, all of which were rejected by the Union for containing the framework for a salary cap. The Union countered with a plan of their own based on four points, luxury tax, profit sharing, 5 percent rollback on all present salaries and changes to entry-level contracts.
Talks: Nobody's talking. None are scheduled. Both sides are being stubborn.