If you've been following the financial news around the league recently (first, what's with you, man?), then you already know that the escrow checks due back to the players on October 14th have yet to arrive because the league and the NHLPA currently disaree about what counts as hockey-related revenues. This is a key issue, as the players' payments are tied directly to how much of this hockey-related revenue comes in.
This minor squabble has left a few of the Chicken Littles (or flat-out rabblerousers) among the media to proclaim that this is a dark and troubling sign for the upcoming labor negotiations when the CBA expires next summer. I've been trumpeting all along that the league and the players have too much to lose and not enough to gain with a prolonged work stoppage, but now Kuklas Korner's Lyle Richardson, also known as Spector has a writeup which puts all the information out on the table. Spector does a great job keying in on the important issues, but taking stock of the big picture. Here are a few excerpts:
With the current CBA set to expire in September 2011, this dispute over hockey related revenue (HRR) has led pundits like Friedman and the Boston Globe’s Kevin Paul Dupont to suggest this to be an "ugly" or "troubling" sign of things to come, foreshadowing another nasty labor dispute between the league and the PA.
Hockey pundits, bloggers and fans have reason to feel nervous about the slightest hint of potential trouble between those two sides.
Spector goes on to outline the recent history of work stoppages. He then goes on to describe what position the league is in financially and how big a deal this current squabble really is in the big picture.
Unless there emerges a radically changed tone between the league and the PA over the next eleven months, one shouldn’t be too quick to anticipate a labor war based on a minor dispute over HRR.
Head over there and give the full thing a read. If you're interested in the business side of hockey, it's well-worth your time.