Thursday, January 27, 2005


Well it turns out that the report of a new proposal for a soft cap/luxury tax/hard cap was erroneous. The NHL talks have broken off with no new proposal tabled to the players. Sportsnet, which has been breaking all kinds of news all day on the story, some of it based on shaky information as it turned out, now says no new talks are planned. The two sides met from 4:30 until 8:30 and then disbanded, and they still have major "philosophical differences".

Maybe they discussed this soft cap/luxury tax/hard cap combination at some point, or maybe the idea was floated as a red herring by somebody to the press. In any event, there's no proposal from the NHL and no more talks. It's over.

And now, as of near-midnight on a Thursday night in January, it looks as if this pathetic National Hockey League is about to hurl itself off a cliff and become the first sports league in North America to cancel its entire season due to labour trouble.

Of course, other leagues have cancelled their entire seasons before, but those were all due to financial problems. The NFL Europe League actually did this in the early 90s. After two years in business, they folded all their North American clubs and cancelled their entire season to reorganize, and then they came back a year later with an all-European lineup of franchises. Other leagues like the Major Indoor Soccer League folded completely, only to revive themselves in a radically different form years later.

The Central Hockey League also, in 1984, went out of business for a full decade before reviving itself in the mid-90s.

But this is different. Hockey is supposed to be a major sport. This isn't the Central Hockey League we're talking about here, we're talking about the NATIONAL Hockey League. It's supposed to be a major league.

Well, it was... until tonight.

Wait until tomorrow when the S hits the fan and all the sports freaks start going crazy over this, this is an outrage. What a total disaster.

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