Industry insider: “We will not play next year”

51 Comments

The NHL’s first offer in its negotiations with the NHLPA was seen by many as a shot across the union’s bow. And with the league reportedly asking for a considerably larger split in hockey-related revenue from the players, the elimination of signing bonuses, as well as a salary rollback, predictions of a work stoppage are growing in number.

In fact, one source with knowledge of the players’ side of the negotiation is predicting not just a work stoppage, but an entire lost season.

“Last time around, the NHL made its salary cap proposal and barely moved off it,” the source, speaking under the condition of anonymity, told PHT. “This is not an initial proposal. The league is shutting down and it’s ‘come back when you’re ready to accept.’

“This is exactly what happened last time. You heard it here first, we will not play next year.”

Granted, that’s just one opinion.

For most, it remains hard to imagine another lost season after the entire 2004-05 schedule was wiped out due to a lockout. Could the league and union really let it happen again?

It’s also still very early in the negotiations. The current collective bargaining agreement doesn’t expire until Sept. 15, and we’re only in July.

NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly declined to comment on the above.