NHL Lockout Has Been Lifted

Lockout Languish is Over: That’s right fans, you can break out the NHL Jerseys, foam fingers, and noise makers and get ready to go out to the hockey rink, because the 2012 NHL Lockout is officially over! The NHL, Commissioner Gary Batteman, and owners all agreed to ratify a new collective bargaining agreement last Wednesday, with the NHLPA voting to ratify as well last Saturday.The new deal includes a mutual opt-out clause after 8 years, and contract limit terms at 7 years (8 for teams re-signing its own players) according to ESPN.com.

With the new deal in the books and everybody feeling all warm and fuzzy on the inside about one another training camps opened up yesterday (Sunday Jan 13th) and a 48-game regular season is slated to begin this Saturday January 19th. A total of 720 games will be played over a 99-day regular season with the last games to be played on April 27th. The Playoffs will follow on April 30th and The Stanley Cup Finals will run no later than June 28th. Other important dates to note: The trade deadline will be April 3rd and free agency begins on July 5th.

Final Thoughts: Well, it only took both sides a little over 113 days and the cancellation of 510 regular season games (including the Winter Classic and NHL All-Star Game), but hey hockey is back, baby! Thanks to Jackpot Capital casino for offering lots of entertainment during the lockout and I’m sure many people’s social networking skills have improved too whilst waiting for this news to break. NHL fans can rejoice in knowing the league successfully avoided repeating the same fate of” The season that never was in 2004-2005″. How about it hockey fans? Are you excited about the 48-game season? Or has the lockout taken all the fun out of this year? Leave a comment below.

2012 NHL Lockout Update

No-play-vember:  The NHL Lockout remains at a stand-still after weekend meetings failed to bring anything to fruition. So, Boston Bruins fans will have to watch games at TD Garden from the hardwood, not the ice rink. That’s because the league has canceled all of the regular season games for the month of November. The cancellation of games comes as a result of the players union rejecting the most recent proposal from the owners two weeks ago in Toronto.

The Beef Between Both Sides: As with most lockouts, the biggest road block between the two sides is shared of league related revenue. The owners (big surprise here) wish to decrease the players guaranteed share of 57% in hockey related revenue. While the players union (shocker) wants increased shared revenue beImagetween them and the owners, as well as a fixed salary cap that’s not tied to league revenue. Other topics on the table include: free agency rule changes, the elimination of salary arbitration, and limits to contract terms.

Cancellations to Continue: With the November schedule axed, more cancellations are reportedly on the horizon. Next up on the NHL Lockout chopping block: both the Winter Classic and the All-Star game could be canceled by this Thursday. It’s likely both will be nixed because neither side will be able to actually meet in New York City, as methods of transportation have been shut down due to the recent “frankenstorm” that struck the east coast.

I want to hear from Boston Bruins fans and hockey fans alike on this one. What do you think of the lockout? Do you see it ending anytime soon? Leave a comment.

Tradition Ruined?: Winter Classic Not on New Years Day

This year, the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers will match up against each other in Philadelphia at Citizens Bank Park. Along with the past Winter Classics, this one should prove to be another great game. The problem is that this year the game will be played on January 2nd.

In the last few years, the Winter Classic has become synonymous with New Years Day. They go together like spaghetti and meatball, or lamb and tuna fish if you are Rob Schneider in Big Daddy. I feel as if the Winter Classic has proven to be one of the major things that put the NHL back on the map, perhaps even vaulted it ahead of the NBA as an organization. It has become an incredible tradition for sports fans around North America to wake up on New Years Day and turn on the hockey classic. Something about being hungover makes outdoor hockey a great idea. But truly, that’s not it. The NHL has really done this one right. Play the game between two well-matched teams in an outdoor MLB or NFL stadium, and while we are at it, let’s air it on NBC before the BCS bowl games start up. Oh yeah, and the month before the game lets have HBO film 24/7, a must-see TV series showing an in-depth look at the two teams in the month leading up to the game. Everyone is tired on New Years Day and sitting down to watch a good hockey game is a perfect way to spend it.

I’m not really sure why the NHL changed the date from the prior years to the 2nd this year. NHL chief operating official John Collins had mentioned that the games “kind of landed on Jan. 1 because frankly NBC had a big window on a big day, why wouldn’t you take advantage of that?” I have a question John: Why wouldn’t you take advantage of your established fan base on New Years Day?