As Jets players continue to get their workouts in, the lockout topic continues to be on the front burner. Some are more willing and wanting to talk about it than others. And that would appear to be the case in other markets as well. The Jets and Edmonton Oilers were supposed to be in a home-and-home exhibition series until the work stoppage put an end to all September pre-season games.
The latest player to get into town was Jim Slater. Slater re-signed with the Jets and feels when the lockout ends, players need to be in shape and ready to go. He too hopes this gets resolved soon, but if not, players are prepared for whatever is needed.
Without getting into "NHL said this, Players' Association said that", let's just say the PA could have gotten something to the NHL earlier than it did, and the owners may have slowed proceedings with the initial proposal that did not sit well with the players. And we will leave it at that. There are plenty of media and fan comments out there.
We are getting to the point where the negotiations will no longer be called that, but will become a stalemate. If nothing happens SOON, the rest of the pre-season schedule will be next to go. Which I fully expect will happen. Players have never been big on pre-season games anyway.
But, I remain optimistic that the regular season will start on time. Why? Because this is a battle over dividing money, and as much as my previous and current bankers will attest to me not being very good with money, missing a season makes no sense. Simple math says that over the next seven years, even with no increase in revenues, a $23.1 billion pie is better to share than a $19.8 billion pie. No matter what the split ends up being, the lost revenue is GONE.
As for the "no increase in revenues", more and more fans are showing their frustration and say they will not spend a dollar outside of their game ticket for at least a year. I'm not sure how much of the $3.3 comes from merchandising and concessions, but I would suspect by the amount of jerseys, caps, shirts, etc. that I see out there, it's a good chunk of it. The NHL did a terrific job coming through the recession, do both sides really want to push the envelope one more time? Right now it appears they do, as each side waits for the other side to blink.
It's been interesting chatting with Winnipeg Jets season ticket holders, especially those that share tickets. They have already had their drafts about which games they will attend, and of course those that feel they got every game they wanted, now worry a shortened schedule will change all that.
Speaking of Slater, he is scheduled to be a guest on TSN Radio 1290 Wednesday on the Rona Round Table with Rick Ralph, Shane Hnidy and Brian Munz. The show runs 11am to 1pm ct, and is replayed from 1-3pm. Zach Bogosian was in studio last week for a very entertaining/interesting hour.
Here's hoping for a week filled with CBA negotiations, with training camps to follow.