NHL Lockout Ends, Season Gets Started

are hard to appreciate.


Anaheim Mighty Ducks- Courtesy

The Ducks celebrate not only goals, but the fact that they have a season to play.

After four months of negotiations that tugged back and forth between the league
and its players, the NHL is back.

The collective bargaining agreement that was reached gives the owners of the
teams and the players a 50/50 split of all revenue. Before the lockout, players
received 57 percent, while the owners were left with 43 percent. Despite the
owners achieving their main goal in establishing the 50/50 revenue split, both
sides suffered from the lack of ticket and merchandise sales, and the players
suffered because they were not working.

The division of the revenue was uneven, but fans, players and the sport itself
most likely suffered because millionaires wanted more
money. Money is always at the center of discussion during lockouts.

Many fans and players agree that this lockout was pointless and did not need to
happen; that it was a disgrace to the sport. Senior communication studies major
Natalie Barmish felt there was one word that could accurately describe lockouts
in general— greed.

“People in the sports industry are already overpaid to begin
with,” Barmish said. “It’s ridiculous that what they make already is
not enough for them. It takes away from the spirit of the sport, the spirit of
having that fandom… It sucks for
everyone and it really comes down to, I think, greed.”

The lockout diminished
what is normally an 82-game season to a 48-game season. The last time the NHL
experienced a 48-game season after a lockout was during the 1994-95 season.
While the season may fly by much quicker than a normal season, a shortened
season could very well bring more exciting results for each and every game.

“After watching a couple of the games and seeing the
intensity, it’s almost like playoff hockey…because every game is so
scrutinized,” senior art major Blake Aaseby said.

During a full 82-game season, the all-star break is normally when the playoff
race begins. However, because this 48-game season is about half of a normal season,
the season is the playoff race. The heightened intensity level demands more
from the players, and according to former APU student Tyler Riffey, more endurance will be needed.

“They’re just going to have to grind down and be ready to work really hard
because before you have at least three, maybe four days in between games. Now,
you have one or two where you’re practicing every day, training, and meeting
with the coach, so it’s a more physically challenging season now,” Riffey said.

The 2013 season will have at least one NHL game every single day. The season
ends on April 27, and the playoffs begin on April 30.

Lockouts are one of the worst things that could happen to sports fans, those
who have sports jobs and the sport itself because there is the underlying fear
of a whole season being canceled. Hockey fans, coaches, owners and players,
there is no need to be upset about this shortened season because there could
have easily been no season at all.

“Better late than never, right?” Barmish said.