NHL Rumors: Gary Bettman's NHL Lockout Numbers Don't Add Up

By Mark Donatiello
Brad Penner – US PRESSWIRE

The NHL Lockout has reached the point of absolute absurdity.  As the work stoppage drags on and hope for a hockey season dwindles, negotiations between the NHL and NHLPA are no longer in the best interest of either side.   Beyond the idea that alienating a passionate fan base will have lasting repercussions, the NHL lockout is costing both sides more money than they’re currently arguing over.

Gary Bettman estimated the league is losing 18-20 million dollars per day after the latest proposal was rejected.  On the flip side, Bettman suggests the players are costing themselves only about eight million dollars per day.  The two sides are currently 182 million dollars apart.  By Bettman’s own estimation, the NHL would cover the gap in CBA negotiations in ten days or less.  Factor in the losses from the players, and the two sides are now delaying the season over less than a week’s worth of revenue.

The greedy stances of both sides of the NHL lockout defy common business sense.  Agreeing to a proposal immediately is in the best interest of both sides, both financially and for the long-term stability of the NHL.  The minor financial differences in the proposals of the NHL and NHLPA do not justify a work stoppage for either group.  Stubborn, illogical negotiations could cost the NHL a season, countless fans, and millions of dollars.

Either Gary Bettman’s numbers are fabricated, or the NHL is making a poor business decision.  By rejecting a proposal that resolves nearly every major issue of the lockout and only calls for ten days of revenue to protect the future of the NHL, Gary Bettman and the owners have effectively decided to lose money rather than play hockey.  The players want their current contracts honored, and the NHL has admitted it will only take ten days of hockey to honor their request.  Why, then, would the NHL reject the latest NHLPA proposal?

Because the owners represent fewer people and greater daily losses, there is no reason to decline a reasonable offer from the NHLPA.  Since the supposed eight million dollars in losses for the players are dispersed throughout the entire NHLPA, while the 20 million dollars in lost revenues are isolated to team owners, the NHL stands to lose the most by holding out for a better CBA.   By the numbers, they should have accepted this last proposal.  If they’re smart, they’ll make an offer that splits the difference so both sides can move forward and we can get our beloved hockey back.

As of now, the NHL lockout is nothing more than a series of bad business decisions at the expense of the fans.

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