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Two US Senators call for an end to NHL lockout

Oct 1, 2012, 6:46 PM EDT

U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) speaks during a news conference November 15, 2011 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The news conference was to call for the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, also known as the Supercommittee, to include legislation to provide first responders and public safety officials with better communications network.
(November 14, 2011 - Source: Alex Wong/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

With the lockout now threatening the regular season, New Jersey US Senators Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez wrote a letter to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA boss Donald Fehr urging them to negotiate a new CBA, according to the Bergen Record.

The Senators state that the “cancellation of the preseason will negatively affect workers, businesses, and families in our state, and a failure to resolve this dispute in time for the regular season would impose an even greater hardship.”

They added that the a canceled NHL season could result in “millions of dollars in lost economic activity” in Newark and it could leave people out of work “when our state unemployment rate is already at a 30-year high.”

They also argued that other NHL cities will face similar hardships in the event of a lost hockey season.

“As you consider your next steps, we encourage you to keep in mind the communities, workers and families that would be hurt by a further disruption in the season,” the letter urges Bettman and Fehr.

It concludes with, “Businesses, workers and hockey fans played no role in causing this dispute, and it is unfair for them to have to bear this burden. The Senate has jurisdiction over interstate commercial activities, including professional sports, and will keep a close eye on your negotiations with hope that you will work diligently and quickly to resolve this matter.”

Meanwhile the league and union will resume their CBA negotiations on Tuesday, but they will continue to avoid the critical issue of the division of hockey-related revenue. Instead, they will focus on the definition of HRR.

  1. bmoreredfury311 - Oct 1, 2012 at 6:55 PM

    Hockey needs the main stream media to step up, like they did for America’s precious football, and make a huge stink about it, to get anything done. Unfortunately Senators and other politicians will not have any effect.
    I WANT HOCKEY!!!!!!!

    • lordfletcher - Oct 1, 2012 at 10:33 PM

      well if they didn’t burn their bridge with ESPN aka the mother ship with the last lockout, they could do most of the dirty work and start the flaming of the owners / NHLPA… Someone at Disney is laughing knowing they made the right choice leaving the NHL behind.

      Sad but true.

      • DED - Oct 2, 2012 at 2:33 PM

        Not sure that’s true anymore. ESPN made a deal with the KHL for broadcast rights.

        So much for hockey not translating to TV. 😉

      • lordfletcher - Oct 2, 2012 at 2:51 PM

        and what does the KHL have to do with the NHL on ESPN?

  2. martysbetter - Oct 1, 2012 at 7:03 PM

    These men speak the truth – I worked for Italian restaurants in the North End of Boston while I was in college, during the week you were always guaranteed to make good money on nights where the Celtics and Bruins played – it was almost as busy as Friday and Saturday nights.

    I’m sure its the same way in other cities, more than just owners and players are being affected by this lockout.

  3. nynynyny - Oct 1, 2012 at 7:17 PM

    But seriously, businesses all around Madison Sq Garden are struggling. NHL is a bunch of greedy assholes for holding everyone hostage.

  4. scionofflame - Oct 1, 2012 at 8:19 PM

    Glad someone is taking notice, even if it’s not likely to do much. I know that in Nashville the damage to businesses around Bridgestone Arena will be bad. Last lockout a number of businesses closed down…hoping it’s not so bad this time.

  5. capsfan19 - Oct 1, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    Hell yea, people in congress
    doing some good for a change.

    • bmoreredfury311 - Oct 1, 2012 at 9:09 PM

      We’ll have to wait until after the election before they do anything.

  6. ocramfan22 - Oct 1, 2012 at 9:43 PM

    I’m so sick of this crap… Get it over with. @ get back on the ice! GKG!

  7. barkar942 - Oct 1, 2012 at 10:04 PM

    That is the only comment that 648 year old Lautenberg has said in his less than illustrious career that I agree with!

  8. blomfeld - Oct 1, 2012 at 10:15 PM


    The owners don’t care any more about the collateral damage they’re causing to other businesses, than the scabs like Ovechkin would care about the European journeymen who’ve now lost their incomes. The bottom line is that “both” parties are 100% culpable for this travesty and there is absolutely no excuse for their selfish and deplorable greed. Nonetheless, while many of you today are feeling down due to your fear of an extended lockout, here in Blomfeld-Land it’s all “good times” man ! :) Friends, there “will” be a season this year and it’s going to start by November 22nd at the latest ! Look, what we’re witnessing right now is nothing more than fake posturing and b-grade acting, which is all part of a ploy to deceive people (sheep) into believing that they’re doing “all they can” and that they’re behaving in “good faith” etc. Well, what a load of crap I say ! This so-called CBA “impasse” is nothing more than a ruse, designed to erase the loss-making months of October and November from the schedule, which in turn will “apparently” prevent 4-6 x US-based teams from having to declare bankruptcy during the coming year. So while I do understand the motives in the short term, the fact remains that in the long-term “contraction” and “northward migration” are inevitable. For the life of me, I will never understand why Bettman had to draw a line in the sand, down there in the land of scorpions and 100 degree temperatures ? Regardless, please don’t worry, as we’re going to have our game back soon enough. And about bloody time too, as we LA Kings are now seriously “chomping at the bit” to have a go at you people again ! :)

  9. bethgoesglobal - Oct 2, 2012 at 12:57 AM

    This is hilarious! You go you little old senator men!

    I’m just pissed that I won’t be able to see a game that I’ve been waiting for over a year to go to! This Blows!

  10. xjokerz - Oct 2, 2012 at 4:01 AM

    Wow a senator defending the small working man ? Shocking

  11. nynynyny - Oct 2, 2012 at 5:19 AM

    By the way, it feels like they were subtly threatening the NHL and NHLPA “The Senate [b]has jurisdiction[/b] over interstate commercial activities, including professional sports, and will keep a close eye on your negotiations”

    • mpg44 - Oct 2, 2012 at 6:43 AM

      Oh good…. I’m not the only one who caught that!!

    • CCCPRoniC - Oct 3, 2012 at 1:51 PM

      I hope as soon as the deal is made, all the states that lost money, will tax the hell out of this hockey related revenue in their states, and return that loss to the people that need the money… I hope fan strikes arise and owners make barely enough to cover costs, so they start kicking fat players out to retirement and get new young motivated players, that play for less. Image a $16 200s section ticket? Overdrive the greedy motivation by showing that what they need to fear, is not how much LESS they will make COMPARED to LAST season, but how many people will NOT have a JOB for an ENTIRE SEASON. “If the people fear the government, its tyranny, if the government fears the people, its liberty” which ones do you choose FANS!
      Chants are going to be: “We want a cut, we want a cut, we want a cut!”

      Bettman and Fehr – Two girls, one cup!


  12. spicyjimbolaya - Oct 4, 2012 at 8:47 AM

    When will the NHLPA learn that hockey is a fringe sport? It doesn’t have the same revenues as football, basketball, or baseball. And their share is excessively high. It is pretty basic logic.

    And if the sheep, I mean fans, really wanted to voice their displeasure, BOYCOT THE WINTER CLASSIC!

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