If the National Hockey League cannot come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement between the players and owners, a lot more could be at stake then just some preseason and regular season games this year. Many more people stand to lose a lot more than just the players and owners.
Again, it will be the fans and others who will be some of the biggest losers if we do indeed suffer from another NHL Lockout.
Assuming that a lockout is inevitable, and even if it does not cancel an entire season like what happened in 2004-2005, we may not see an NHL All-Star Game for almost three years.
That means no game, no shoot-outs, no fastest man skate competition, no accuracy contest and no player fantasy drafts until 2015.
Sorry, Columbus, because this will effect you the most. Or at least the earliest.
The city of Columbus is scheduled to host the 2013 NHL All-Star Game on January 27. For a team who has lost Rick Nash and is expected to be one of the worst teams in the league whenever play resumes, this was a big game. Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch wrote that “If the lockout extends even a month into the season, it could scuttle one of the biggest sporting events ever planned for central Ohio.”
So while many people feel as if a short lockout may not mean all that much in the long run, that may not be the case.
That is because during the last lockout of 2004-2005, the league went ahead and scrapped that season’s All-Star Game on November 3. The lockout was only about a month long at that point, yet it was long enough to cancel the game. No comment as of yet whether the league would use a similar time table to operate under this year, if in fact the owners do lockout the players next month.
But while Columbus could go without hosting the game in 2013, we already know that there is a very good chance that there will be no All-Star Game in 2014. As of now, everyone involved in the NHL and the Winter Olympics is hopeful that the league will once again put the regular season on hold to allow the players to compete for their countries in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
If that does hold true, then we may not see an NHL All-Star Game until 2015. If this year’s game and festivities are cancelled, then many expect that Columbus would be given the first shot of hosting the league’s best players in 2015.
Hopefully, the team will still be there at that point.
That is, if the lockout does not cripple them from a financial and competitive standpoint.