If the NHL lockout ends up mirroring the one the NBA experienced last year, there’s still a long way to go before hockey is played this season.
And as CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty reports, the players – who held a conference call Tuesday following the league’s new offer – are keenly aware of what happened in basketball:
There was plenty of chatter on the NHLPA conference call linking the NHL talks this fall with last year’s NBA negotiations and that’s no coincidence, given that the same group of lawyers have advised each league in both instances.
The NBA — which locked out its players in 2011-12 — made its first legitimate offer after roughly the same amount of time had passed (and, not coincidentally, after paycheck periods had been missed) in order for the season to begin by its target of Christmas Day.
If the NHL’s goal is to begin in November and play a complete regular season, Tuesday’s timing makes complete sense.
But the NBA never did manage to play a complete regular season, even though it looked at one point in late October of 2011 that it might be possible.
“I think we’re within striking distance of getting a deal,” union chief Billy Hunter said on Oct. 27.
But then talks fell apart and the situation turned dire again.
Yada, yada, yada, a tentative agreement was finally reached a month later, on Nov. 26, and the season was able to start on Dec. 25.
For NHL fans, we suppose the lesson is, don’t lose all hope if the NHLPA doesn’t respond kindly to the league’s latest offer and it feels like we’re back to square one.
Hopefully that doesn’t happen and they get a deal done. But if it does, there would still be plenty of time for the roller-coaster to keep riding before the season would be lost.