Today, Gary Bettman and the NHL announced they were canceling the first two weeks of the season. We now know two things.
- The NHL is going to cancel games in two week blocks.
- The owners are more than willing to flush the season to get the player’s concession of reducing their Hockey Related Revenue to 50% as fast as possible.
The NHL is coming off record revenue, the highest ratings for the Stanley Cup in years, and the NHL Sports Network making hockey the centerpiece of the channel. And it is not enough for the owners.
In addition to the players and team staff being punished, add in all the people who work at the arena on game day. Add to that the restaurants and bars around each arena. Hotels and the chartered airlines for the players. Pilots and flight crew. Then you have the sales and marketing department of each team, training staff including on ice and off ice support personnel. You start to get an idea of the pain caused by the lockout.
The skating coach for the Phoenix Coyotes is Mark Ciaccio. Mark runs camps all over the world in addition to working with the travel teams of CAHA (Coyotes Amateur Hockey Association) at the Ice Den. As part of the lockout, Mark cannot be on the ice at the same time of the Coyote players. They cannot hire him for private skating lessons. It is forbidden by the collective bargaining agreement. The Coyotes had to go out and hire Athletes Resources to run their informal skating session. So you have one of the best coaches in the NHL forced to watch outside the rink thanks to the owners. Here Mark runs a camp in Boston each summer. Keith Yandle is the featured player at the camp. Now Mark cannot work with Keith, even though Keith works Mark’s camp.
The saving grace is the Phoenix Coyotes do not have an owner to funnel our rage against. We have to spread it around to the other 29 teams. Greg Jamison is still the white knight in shining armor.