Originally written on Sports Business Digest  |  Last updated 10/1/12

The NFL has their Thanksgiving games. The NBA has its Christmas Day games. The NHL has the Winter Classic--oh wait, never mind. The NHL's polarizing and unpopular money grab(lockout) has continued to have disastrous effects once again warranting a closer questioning and analysis of the true motivations of professional sports. As the Chicago Tribune reported,
"The Winter Classic scheduled between the Maple Leafs and Red Wings on New Year's Day could be canceled by November barring a settlement in the NHL's lockout"(http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/hockey/blackhawks/chi-report-winter-classic-could-be-canceled-by-november-20120923,0,6546464.story)
Fearing a manipulation of the league by use of the game as leverage, Gary Bettman described his clear intentions to cancel the most well known regular season hockey game for the NHL. Once again, the monetarily oriented minds of owners and players has interfered with true passion for the game, what many describe as the kernel, or essence, of competitive sports. As both sides continue to tactically fight this battle, the players responded by denouncing this threat as a mere "scare tactic".
The Chicago Tribune was also informed from sources that "The NHL and the players union have no talks on a new collective bargaining agreement planned."
As one of America's currently least popular professional sports continues to spiral down into irrelevance, neither side understands the implications of further delays in negotiations. The longer these talk stall, the more Americans will forget about the magic of Jonathon Quick and the L.A. Kings or the intense Game Sevens this last year's playoffs have held. With the Winter Classic on the verge of cancellation, the NHL's players and owners will soon regret their insistence on an abusive collective bargaining agreement.
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