Sidney Crosby claimed to be "devastated" after the latest labor negotiation meetings ended worse than they began. Owners from several teams commented yesterday after two incredibly long meetings in New York, and each seemed thoroughly disappointed. Day 83 of the lockout feels as if Day 1 never ended. A reoccurring real-life nightmare of empty seats, outsourcing players to other countries, and continuous disagreement between the two parties involved: The NHPA and NHL team owners.
The latest meetings saw a new approach as owners from six teams sat with players and discussed salaries, and lasted several hours. After the first meeting, fans and media seemed optimistic of a new deal. But, after the third day and a proposal rejection, the future looks bleak for the NHL season.
One of the latest problems remaining pertains to contract length, as the players proposed an 8-year CBA with 6-year option, and the owners countered with a 10-year CBA with a mutual 8-year option. In this case, the owners have the right idea because sponsors do not want to waste their money on a product that locks out every five to eight years. I think players also need to consider their own careers, and how much time they lose for stats and big money. They clearly need to make the contract last more than five years, but players may never accept 10 years.
With no talks scheduled, Crosby undoubtedly considers European hockey daily. His teammate Evgeni Malkin plays in the KHL, and he gets to participate at a high level while Sid plays around in Colorado and Arizona waiting for positive news. Positive news seems out of sight at this point, and the league will most likely cancel games beyond December 15 very soon.
The players in the league who sat through the last lockout in 2005 probably lose the most of everyone. Two years of stats, championships, and money failing to exist, while their careers dwindle down. Players on average play 3-4 years in the league, so an entire year's paycheck down the drain seems like a lot to lose.
Everyone talks about the fans in the NHL, and that they lose the most in all of this. But, owners lost millions in revenue, and many players lost millions in salary and possibly some skill from aging and missing a season or two. Now that Penguins' owner Ron Burkle, along with the five other owners, left New York, a season seems unlikely. Prepare for a full season cancellation very soon, because it surely seems inevitable at this point.

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