Originally posted on Taking Bad Schotz  |  Last updated 11/19/12

GLENDALE, AZ - APRIL 14: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman speaks during a press conference before Game One of the Western Conference Quarterfinals between the Detroit Red Wings and the Phoenix Coyotes during the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Jobing.com Arena on April 14, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
While the calendar continues to turn month by month, one thing has been consistent: a lack of NHL hockey.  Since the second lockout of Commissioner Gary Bettman’s tenure in the 2004-2005 season, hockey’s popularity in North America has grown exponentially.  The average attendance in the NHL last year was 17,455, higher than the rival NBA, and up 1.8% from two seasons ago, while the total attendance for the season ranked second in American professional leagues, behind the MLB.  So with all of this raging success and record revenue (over $3 billion, a new record), why have we not seen players on the ice this season? Gary Bettman. via bloguin.com Gary Bettman became commissioner of the NHL in February of 1993, and although the popularity has increased marginally every year, he has done nothing but destroy the league three times now.  The lockout of 2004-2005 was the first cancellation of an entire season in American pro sports history.  Every time Bettman appears to speak publicly, whether it is at the NHL entry draft annually, or presenting the Stanley Cup to the winning team, he is booed collectively for his mistakes and controversial time at the head of the league.  As humans, we are supposed to learn from out mistakes.  But now, in mid-November, we might be looking at another cancellation of a season, one the NHL may not be able to recover from. Knowing the current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) was set to expire during the offseason, the NHL and it’s Players Association (NHLPA) began to meet over the summer.   On June 29, the two sides met to begin talks in hopes of coming to an agreement on a number of issues, such as the share of Hockey Related Revenue, contract specifics, and entry level deals, among other minor issues.  After a two-week period of meeting, the NHL offered a new CBA in which the players would receive 46 percent of HRR, well below the 57 percent that they were currently earning under the previous CBA.  Naturally, Donald Fehr and the NHLPA rejected the offer, and used it as a base for bargaining. Negotiations continued into the beginning of August without a counterproposal being made.  The first counter was made on Aug. 14, and was immediately rejected by the NHL, in which Bettman criticized the lack of understanding of the situation at hand.  The back and forth negotiations continued until they were put on a hiatus because a lack of progress was being made.  The league was officially locked out on September 16, marking the third time this has happened under Bettman’s tenure. Until Oct. 16, no progress was made until negotiations spontaneously opened up again.  Now, it seemed as if the two sides were not necessarily trying to win the Public Relations battle, but rather decided that they wanted to strike a deal.  The league proposed an offer that was declined, followed by a series of three Players Association proposals that were all denied as well.  The two sides met continuously for four days in a row shortly after which created optimism around the players, the league and fans.  But then, completely expectantly, Bettman recently called for a two-week break in talks, on Nov. 15.  New York Rangers’ winger Ryan Callahan called the break a “waste of time.” The unrest around the league is growing, with players starting to open up.  On Saturday Nov. 17, defenseman for the Detroit Red Wings Ian White openly called Bettman an idiot.  He said that he has done nothing but “ruin the game” in a USA Today interview.  Through Nov. 30, the league has cancelled 327 total games, making a large dent in potential league revenue.   It was just released on Saturday night that labor talks will resume on Monday, however. Players have already exported to Russian, Canadian, and European leagues to play.  Superstars such as Alexander Ovechkin, Rick Nash, Zdeno Chara, Patrick Kane, and Evgeni Malkin, among plenty of others, have already left. With fans’ patience growing short, it appears as if the NHL may not be able to recover from it’s third strike, something that all fans are praying will not happen. Brad Richards of the Rangers and Scott Hartnell of the Philadelphia Flyers are making strides in attempt to bring hockey to American fans and help rebuild the East coast after the storm two weeks ago.  “Operation Hat Trick” is a charity game that will be taking place at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J., one of the areas affected the worst by Hurricane Sandy.  The game will feature stars from the Flyers and Rangers and all of the proceeds will go to Hurricane Sandy relief.  The game will be played on Saturday, Nov. 24, and tickets can be bought online at increments of $20, $40, or $100 at ticketmaster.com Information from the Associated Press was used in this article -Weingold
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Twitter, Facebook report engagement decline during Super Bowl

Steve Spurrier becomes special assistant to South Carolina AD

Brent Musberger wants you to bet on Joe Lunardi’s bracketology

Unranked Duke uses big first half to beat No.13 Louisville

MLB reportedly close to rule preventing collisions at second base

USOC says athletes concern about Zika shouldn't attend Games

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Von Miller shares support for embattled Johnny Manziel

The Panthers had to use a silent snap count at the Super Bowl

Report: Lakers would fire Byron Scott to hire Luke Walton

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Seahawks’ Frank Clark rips Cam Newton ‘that boy a b—‘

Report: Tom Thibodeau has 'always wanted' Knicks job

Daniel Bryan says goodbye to WWE during teary retirement speech

Paul George delivers great line about driving by Kobe Bryant

WATCH: Oklahoma beats Texas on Buddy Hield's 3-pointer

Andre Drummond hits 70-foot buzzer beater to end 3rd quarter

Duke's Allen appears to intentionally trip Louisville's Spaulding

Candidates for New York Knicks head coaching job

Attorney alleges Johnny Manziel ruptured ex-girlfriend's eardrum

Jeanie Buss may clean house in Lakers’ front office

Lisa Ann wants to reward Emmanuel Sanders for Super Bowl win

WWE Superstar Daniel Bryan to announce retirement

Nine best and worst players from 2015 NFL playoffs

Rodman wants Phil Jackson to know he’s ready to coach Knicks

Wade Phillips trolls Cam Newton with dabbing tweet

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Report: Marshawn Lynch plans to retire

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker