NEW YORK – The National Hockey League announced today the cancellation of the remainder of the 2012 preseason schedule.
The cancellation of the preseason schedule was necessary because of the absence of a Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NHL Players’ Association and the NHL
The owners lose some home dates, the players won’t have a normal training camp. This also means that unless an agreement can be reached with the next two weeks the NHL will lose regular season games.
How does the NHL labour dispute compare with the other recent North American league’s labour stoppages?
The NBA’s season was scheduled to start on November 1st, there was no agreement until November 26 after a final two-day meeting and negotiation which was finalized on December 8th. The regular season did not start until December 25 and the league lost about 20% of their season (16 games out of 82). The gap between the tentative agreement and its finalization was complicated by the player union’s decision to de-certify as a union.
For the NFL, negioations ended by July 25 and was made official on July 30. This was well ahead of preseason which began August 11.
Obviously the NBA is the more relevant comparable for NHL negotiations. We can see though that agreements can be made in a matter of a couple days if both sides are motivated to find an agreement. Then generally there needs to be about a week’s time to make things official.
The NHL season begins October 11th and the NHL appears to be cancelling games 4+ games ahead of their scheduled dates. If there is to be an agreement made so regular season games occur on schedule it seems an agreement in principle needs to be in place around the start of October, with a couple days to make the agreement official and for a truncated training camp to be run. Three days of talks have been announced for the September 28th.
If the regular season is to start on time an agreement in principle must be found over the next few days. Otherwise games are going to be missed.