NHL Lockout is on Horizon
For the sportsbook bettors that have not heard by now the NHL Lockout is coming. The current NHL collective bargaining agreement expires on September 15.
The owners are prepared to lockout the players for what would be the third time since Gary Bettman became commissioner in 1993.
The last lockout cost the NHL an entire season in 2004, and this one is not looking any more promising. Much of the rhetoric coming from both sides is pointing squarely at a lockout that will not end any time soon.
Online Gambling Ready for NHL Lockout with Odds
The legal online sports betting sites remember how much the NHL lost the last time there was a lockout. Since the last lockout, the NHL has not appeared on ESPN. It had lost several key sponsors.
On the flip side, the NHL managed to rebound and turn the league into a $3 billion per year success story.
The league traded in ESPN for what eventually became the NBC Sports Network and has turned its annual Winter Classic into the kind of event that could turn American sports fans into hockey fans.
On the eve of the collective bargaining agreement expiring it doesn’t look good. The owners and the players are ready to throw all of that hard work away. The online betting experts have heard both sides say that this could be a long process.
The players made a proposal in August that was flatly denied by the owners.
The owners have decided to play their side of this battle in the court of public opinion. They have revealed major parts of its proposal to the media. This was the same time the proposal was being heard by the players. The players, as expected, rejected the owners’ proposal.
Not the First Stoppage
The first time the NHL experienced a work stoppage was in 1992. The first 10 games of the regular season were lost to a players’ strike. Prior to that point, the NHL had never experienced labor pains.
Immediately after Gary Bettman became commissioner, the owners locked out the players. Almost half of the 1993-1994 season was lost. Then, 11 years later, the league lost the entire 2004-2005 season to a lockout.
Short-term collective bargaining agreement that was signed at that point looks to be under fire. The players are not prepared to extend the current CBA while negotiations for a new agreement continue.
Nothing Good Can Come of Lockout
The online sportsbook experts see nothing but bad things for the NHL if it decides to lockout the players again. While sports fans are a hearty bunch and will eventually come back to the NHL arenas, sponsors are not always so forgiving.
If it looks like the NHL will throw away significant success each time the CBA expires, then there is little motivation for sponsors and television networks to make long-term commitments to the league.
When the 2012-2013 season is delayed by a couple of weeks, then people can adjust to that. The NHL owners feel it necessary to shut down an entire season to make their point, then that could have long-term financial effects that the league will never be able to recover from.
Click here for more information on the NHL CBA talks and the possibility of another lockout.