Yesterday’s news out of the lockout sham wasn’t good, and here’s some bad news. It’s going to get worse. Bet on that.
Also, I’ve been incorrect in something, and I’m ashamed of myself. I’ve been saying that this can’t get serious, that neither side will be budging much, until the owners (Oct. 11) and players (Oct. 15) start actually losing money.
The owners already say they’ve lost $100 million by canceling the preseason—of course it’s a gold mine. They force subscribers to buy tickets and don’t have to pay players salaries yet. They can’t cry over that, though, since they flushed the preseason money out of their own wallets. So cry me a river.
But I was incorrect about the two dates—the opening of the season, and the day first player paychecks are due. The actual day when both sides start losing money comes this week, when the NHL will cancel some regular-season games. That’s inevitable now.
And sooner or later, somebody’s going to have to cave a little bit here, and sooner or later, that’s going to have to be the players. Because the owners won’t budge much at all, if at all. They’re dug in and some of them lose more money by playing games than by closing their doors.
This is a players’ loss coming up. It’s just a matter of how much they want to lose, and by how much. The fear I have is Fehr himself. He was hired to not cave. He might not ever cave. This whole freakin’ season might go down the toilet if he doesn’t.