What does this mean?
Nothing, really. Just an attempt to put a little panic on the players’ side.
1) Remember, kids, canceling of all November games doesn’t mean it would be impossible to strike a deal and play games in November. Big difference there.
2) Also, the original schedule is now irrelevant and obsolete. when/if they strike a new deal, the schedule will have to be completely re-done. And, in fact, the NHL probably has a 70-game schedule and a 64 and a 60 and a 54 etc., already generated and ready to go.
3) People are making noise about calling teams and demanding money back from tickets they’ve already bought. That would be a good step … but a lot of people would have to do that for it to have any impact at all.
4) Owners don’t even feel pressure from fans, because you’ll all be back the minute they drop the puck, and you will continue to buy all the alternate jerseys and caps and Center Ice and $18.50 prime rib sandwiches and anything else that they sell. They aren’t worried or concerned in the least about losing fans, or pressure from fans.
5) The Winter Classic is the big carrot. The NHL will soon cancel that. That doesn’t mean it won’t be played. But the NHL’s Super Bowl does take a lot of planning and preparation, so they couldn’t make a deal in, say, December, and still play the Winter Classic on Jan. 1. They will eventually have to kill that event.
6) I still believe this battle will get darker and more gloomy before serious negotiations bring it around, and I still expect that there will be a deal in place in November and possibly hockey by Thanksgiving.
7) Players lose their second paycheck of the lockout in the middle of next week.