Thursday, December 23, 2004

January 15th: the NHL's "drop-dead" date

If the rumor is true, the NHL will become the first North American professional sports league to cancel a season because of a labor dispute if a new CBA is not decided upon by January 14th, 2005. The NHL Board of Governors will meet on that day and it is expected that they will give their approval to Comissioner Gary Bettman to make official what everyone in the hockey world has known would happen for months. The NHL is trying to pass the meeting off as a regular board meeting and one that is intended to keep the owners up to date on the situation. The NHL's chief legal officer, Bill Daly, told the AP in an e-mail that he can't confirm any particular agenda for that meeting," and that he thinks "it would be premature to do that, and quite frankly, unfair to the process." It will be the first time the board has been together in a formal way since September 15 and could be just what they say. It doesn't seem like Bettman would really want to take the PR hit that would go along with him personally canceling the season but he probably realizes it's pointless for everyone to keep kidding themselves. The NHL has already lost 470 games to this point, including the All-Star Game. Today is the 99th day of the lockout and it is showing no signs of ending. Well, it'll be a month later than most of us expected but it looks like it will still happen. Wonderful. (via. TSN and DetNews)


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