Is the NHL a fan of the NFL?

Let’s hope so.
Let’s hope that the NHL and NHLPA watched this spring and summer how the NFL and NFLPA got a deal done and avoided missing any meaningful games.
Say what you want about how the owners of the NFL teams locked the players out when the CBA expired and the Players de-certified the Union to gain leverage and all the other posturing and maneuvering that went on this summer. The bottom line is, both sides sat down and hammered out a deal.
At times it was actually quite refreshing to see how the deal got done. Sure you had the odd ridiculous player complaining that they were being treated like slaves……and once in a while you had a billionaire owner elude to the fact that their share of the $9 billion dollar revenue number that had to be split up might not be enough for the future….. For the most part though, when it became evident to both sides that the game and business was too good to mess up, they got behind closed doors and got a tough deal done. Which side won? Who cares? The fans won and the health of football won. Come week 1 of the NFL schedule real fans won’t even be thinking of what happened in May, June and July.
It is hard to even bring this up but yes, the CBA between the NHL and its’ players is expiring in about a year. Hard to believe right? Certainly I am not comparing the health and wealth of the leagues but hopefully the same saneness can prevail to get a new deal done. Yes there are major issues the league has to address. No doubt. There always is.  But both sides also need to see that a huge amount of damage that was done by missing the 2004-2005 season has been made up and that any further work stoppage would be ruinous to that progress. I am by no means a labor lawyer or a player union representative but some things are easy to see. The League brought in nearly $3 billion, the fifth straight year it has brought in record amounts.  Things are looking up. The salary cap has consistently increased. Even with both those things there are still concerns and unhappiness on both sides with the current deal. Is it so broken that a work stoppage will occur again to try and get it fixed? Only time will tell. But wasn’t that what the last stoppage was for? It would be hard to imagine the owners of NHL teams wanting to bring whatever momentum hockey has recently developed to halt. Surely the new ownership groups in Tampa and Winnipeg don’t want or need that. They say history is the best teacher. Let’s hope the NHL is a good student.
Time moves very quickly, especially once a hockey season starts. It will be playoff time before you know it. Hopefully Mr. Bettman and Mr. Fehr get directed by their bosses to work like Mr. Goodell and Mr. Smith did. Get behind closed doors and get working on a deal.
Gotta love it! Time for kickoff!!!!!
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