NHL Lockout: Loss of Jobs Loss of Appriciation

November 2, 2012
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The NHL and team owners have locked out the players and coaches from their rinks but most importantly, their fans and employees. The NHL lockout is not only affecting the players and owners, it is also affecting the fans, who have spent a lot of money to watch and cheer for their favorite players. Their employees are also affected because they might have to go the entire NHL season without a job. The NHL commissioner, Gary Bettman, has locked players out of their respected hockey rinks. The players are not allowed to practice or play in their home rinks. Also the coaches are not allowed to speak or help coach the players. The reason for this terrible act is that the NHLPA (National Hockey League Player’s Association) and the NHL did not come to a new agreement before the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) expired at 11.59 P.M. ET on September 15. The expired CBA provided the players with 57% of all hockey-related revenue earned by the NHL. Last year the NHL made a record breaking $3.3 billion. The NHL is not only losing money, they are also hurting their fans and their employees.

The NHL is acting in a risky manner by having a lockout in this economy. The NHL employs thousands of people and with the lockout most of them cannot work. Without a full NHL season many people might have a full year without work. This could cost many people and their families thousands of dollars. The NHL has announced that most of their employees are only able to work four days and must take a 20% pay reduction. Several NHL teams, including the Florida Panthers and the Ottawa Senators, have already laid off some of their employees. "Due primarily to the NHL work stoppage,...SSE and the Florida Panthers instituted a number of staff adjustments today including staff reductions," Panthers President and Chief Operating Officer Michael Yormark wrote in a statement Tuesday September, 18. The NHL lockout is also affecting local small businesses who primarily sell NHL merchandise. As a result of the lack of games, not many people are buying jerseys or other props that would be worn or used at the games. If the NHL and the NHLPA care for their employees, they should try to make a fair agreement as soon as possible.

The fans are suffering greatly in this strong stalemate between the NHL and the NHLPA. The NHL and the NHLPA are fighting over the profits of the NHL even though they only make a profit because of their devoted fans. The fans spend their hard earned money in order to watch the hockey games that they love and with this lockout they are not able to. These two sides are fighting over who gets more of the fan’s money without any opinions of the fans. History shows that in previous NHL lockouts, ticket prices increase when a lockout ends. This is also a problem for the fans. The fans have waited patiently for the lockout to end, but they are growing impatient. In previous years, fans have threatened to protest the lockout by not renewing their season tickets, but it seems that the fans are more dedicated than the owners because a majority of them always renew their tickets. "If the owners truly cared about the game and the fans, they would lift the lockout and allow the season to begin on time while negotiations continue." NHLPA Executive Director, Donald Fehr said in a statement. Some fans, not knowing there was going to be a lockout, had already renewed their season tickets last year. Some of the teams like the Boston Bruins are giving the season ticket holders a refund for every game that is not played. The problem is that most fans love the game of hockey so much that they would rather pay more money just to watch the rest of the season.

As the lockout continues the people who are affected most are not the owners or the players, but the fans and the employees of the NHL. Many people who are employed by the NHL have had to take a pay cut of 20% and were forced to only work four days a week. Also some teams are starting to lay off their employees as a result of the canceled games caused by the lockout. Some of the small local businesses are also being affected by the lockout. These small businesses are losing profits because their NHL products are not being sold as easily as a result of the lack of games being played. Without the fans, the NHL and the NHLPA would not have a profit to fight over. These fans are already angry and if ticket prices start to increase after the lockout, they will become even angrier. These dedicated fans should not be treated the way they are being treated by the owners and players. The NHL and the NHLPA think that they are the only ones that are being affected by this lock out but their employees and their dedicated fans are being affected just as much if not more.






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