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Daly: Season must start by Nov. 2 for 82-game schedule

Oct 24, 2012, 1:05 PM EDT


A full NHL season isn’t possible unless it starts by Nov. 2, deputy commissioner Bill Daly stressed Wednesday to the Canadian Press.

Which is to say, a full NHL season is extremely unlikely.

The league has set a deadline of Oct. 25 for a new CBA to be reached in order for each team to hold a week-long training camp and play 82 regular-season games. Given today is Oct. 24 and no talks have been scheduled between the league and players, a shortened season appears all fans can hope for.

There’s been talk the NHL could push back its deadline and still play a full season. But assuming Daly isn’t bluffing, that’s not the case.

The NBA played a shortened 66-game season last year following a lockout.

The NHL played a shortened 48-game season following the 1994-95 lockout.

Update (1:52 p.m. ET):

  1. trick9 - Oct 24, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    No wonder the players want to meet. In a few days they have already lost 2 of their 13 yearly checks. But in owners offer if the season starts at November 2nd then the players would get paid those paychecks paid fully.

    • id4joey - Oct 24, 2012 at 5:42 PM

      Now you’re getting it! The players feel the itch to get back, and will soon fell the pinch in their bank accounts.

  2. mgp1219 - Oct 24, 2012 at 1:13 PM


  3. Stiller43 - Oct 24, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    48 or 66 would be fine…as long as theres hockey!

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Oct 24, 2012 at 3:23 PM

      Actually, IMHO it would be better. The season and playoffs are too long, too much of a grind on the players, wearing them out, reducing the caliber of play.

      • therealjr - Oct 24, 2012 at 4:40 PM

        I think once you get under 70 games, given the number of teams in the league, you tarnish the integrity of the regular season. Below 50 is a joke. Long term I’d be happy with 70-74, but we all know why that will never happen.

  4. jernster21 - Oct 24, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    Pretty clear a deal isn’t going to get done otherwise players wouldn’t continue to bolt to Europe – even if they struck a deal today or tomorrow it’d be doubtful all the players playing over seas would be back for the first day of training camp.

  5. cspsrbums - Oct 24, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    Just cancel the season and fold the NHL Stop toying with us

  6. chrisvegas - Oct 24, 2012 at 1:43 PM

    These sides are so far apart that I just don’t think we will have a season this year unless the owners end their greedy stance and agree to honor the contracts that they signed. The players agreed to go to a 50-50 split as long as the current contracts are honored. These Owners signed all these huge contracts that last two years and NEVER intendend to pay them. The owners may eventually get what they want, but it will cost a full season of hockey as the players now feel they are being taken advantage of. I don’t blame the players, I would want my contract honored as well. The owners just got a huge tv deal that pays them 180 million this year regardless of whether or not there is a hockey season, so they can afford to miss this season. Many players are playing overseas and I think that is going to give them extra reason to hold out for a fair deal. The only way I see hockey this season is if the Owners decide to take the FAIR deal that the players are offering. Keep in mind that the players have agreed to a reduction in the revenue split as long as their current contracts are honored, this being in a time when the NHL has it’s biggest TV deal ever and record revenue in 7 straight years. The issue here is the owner’s greed. They have not agreed to give up anything in this deal while the players have agreed to go to a 50-50 split. This is on the owners and the sooner people see that the sooner we can put more pressue on them to get a deal done. Blaming the players for wanting a fair deal will not end this lockout as they are willing to compromise, only putting real pressure on the owners will get a deal done this season.

  7. id4joey - Oct 24, 2012 at 1:48 PM

    Dang! I understand want I looks like. But, players are free to do as they wish. We can’t interpret their exodus as an indication when the impasse will be resolved. They are separate issues.

  8. blomfeld - Oct 24, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    Back in ’67-68 the regular season only was 74 games. I therefore don’t see anything wrong with a 65 “plus” game schedule ? It would certainly be better than “nothing” which so many of you pessimists here are now calling for ! And besides, perhaps 82 games is a bit of a stretch for fans and their wallets, not to mention it being a bit of a “tough row to hoe” for a lot of the players too ?

    • chrisvegas - Oct 24, 2012 at 3:38 PM

      It is not that people are being pessimist, they just see that both sides are not close to an agreement. When you consider that and the fact that just 7 years ago we missed a whole season then it isn’t a stretch to think we may not have hockey this year.

      • id4joey - Oct 24, 2012 at 5:27 PM

        chris, as I have written here before, we must take into consideration that times were different back then.

        In 04-05 there were 2 issues that needed to be fixed. 1) economics 2) product We agree that this time it’s about economics, and not about the product. There are loopholes in the latest CBA which healthier teams exploited at the detriment of the small market teams. So, these loopholes and the ever changing economic landscape have to be addressed. Otherwise, CBAs would be infinite contracts. I think we can all agree that the economy has changed since 2004-05, so the CBA also has to change.

      • chrisvegas - Oct 24, 2012 at 7:48 PM

        @id4joey – Yes things were different back then, the NHL wasn’t doing well and there was no salary cap. Also I agree the product needed to change and it did. What has changed this time around? The NHL is now thriving with new TV contracts and record revenue. The NHL is much better off financially then they would have you believe. In fact the NHL has never had this financial success. With the NHL ticket, HD TV, Winter Classic, EA’s famous hockey game ect…. Yes the NHL is very well off financially. Yes a few franchises in poor locations are struggling, but these teams need to be relocated rather than have the players pay for them with deduction of pay. Don’t buy into the propaganda that the NHL is hurting financially. These are unproven lies. The current owners are trying to get out of the huge contracts that they gave away. One can honestly question if these owners ever had the intention of paying these huge contracts to begin with. If the owners were in such financial trouble why would they hand out HUGE long term deals? These owners should have to honor those contracts as the average American & Canadian is expected to honor their contracts. The owners greed has brought hockey to a stop and may cost us the season. The players already agreed to take a smaller cut, the players have showed the willingness to compromise. Before you go taking the owners propaganda that the NHL is hurting economically go read up on their HUGE new TV contract and their record revenues.

      • id4joey - Oct 24, 2012 at 8:06 PM

        chrisvegas, well said my friend. Very well written. I agree with everything you wrote but for the assumptions that I believe the owners are hurting economically. I need to make a few corrections. I do not think they are hurting economically. What I’m trying to say is that the last CBA has loopholes that the richer owners have used to their advantage putting the parity of the league in jeopardy. Case and point; Shea Weber. I for one do not believe that this small market team, Nashville, has the financial backbone to sustain such a contract. Yet! They had to match the Flyers offer in order to protect their asset. The value of the US dollar has decreased since 2004-05. The economy is very different. Other professional leagues are splitting revenues closer to 50/50. Again, as I have said in the past, CBAs are not infinite because the economic landscape is dynamic, and sometimes it might to the benefit of the players and other times to the benefits of the owners. I hope this makes a little sense.

      • chrisvegas - Oct 24, 2012 at 8:40 PM

        @id4joey- Well I apologize for making the wrong assumption I must have misunderstood. Regarding the loopholes you speak of, are these loopholes the reason we can’t get a deal done? I’m all for closing any loophole that gives one team an unfair advantage over another, but the Flyers making a bid on a restricted free agent in Weber isn’t a unfair loophole in my eyes. The fact that the Flyers and other big markets will always have money to spend isn’t something that any CBA is going to do away with completely. The best solution for a team without money in a bad market like Nashville is to relocate or raise their prices and do a better job bringing in fans. As for the offer sheet on Weber… First assuming Nashville didn’t match that offer they would have been compensated with 4 first round draft picks. You can get a lot of good players with that plus the Flyers would have negotiated a trade if need be. Maybe one feels there should be more compensation? That is debatable. However if Nashville was going to keep Weber before he became a free agent they were going to have to fork out the money or lose him completely anyways. The ways I see all the Flyers did was speed up the process. Second it is not only the big market teams who have signed restricted free agents to offer sheets. If a team like the Flyers don’t manage their cap well they can have another team with cap room do the same to them. I guess I feel the salary cap evens this out as good as it can be. Other professional leagues also use the restricted free agent label, even the NFL does. Now I am not saying I am not willing at looking at alternative methods. As for the other loopholes you speak of I am unaware of what they are and how they are holding up the process, but as far as I read it is just a greed thing from the owners. As for the other loopholes.. Maybe you can enlighten me because I am not sure which you are referring to.

      • id4joey - Oct 24, 2012 at 9:24 PM

        chris, you provide some interesting points. The loophole has to do with front loaded contracts for example. i.e. Pay big money upfront and then divide the full value of the contract by the number of years.  Ex 10 year contract worth 100 million dollars would equal 10 million per year against the cap. However, with front loaded contracts players are actually paid much less towards the end of the term. So, in essence only rich owners can afford these front loaded contracts. The owners are now asking to reduce the length of contracts and allow for only a small percentage of disparity between the first and last year of the contract. 

        Now, with respect to first round picks nothing is ever guaranteed in terms of how the kid will develop. Of course we can all select the number one pick, and perhaps even the number two and three. Beyond that, it’s unknown. Take a look at some of the first round picks in the past and you’ll notice they don’t all live up to the hype. Oh! Detroit usually doesn’t mess up all that much. Matter of fact, many of the roster players are picked after the first round pick. This organization is exceptionally good at selecting players during the draft, and then developing them into NHL quality players. The Oilers from the 80s is another example of excellent drafting. And, perhaps the Canadiens in the late 60s when the universal  draft was instituted. They also made very good picks in the early 70s. 

      • chrisvegas - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:25 PM

        @id4joey – Well I am open to changing the rules so teams can’t frontload contracts to that extent, but I am sure the players association will fight against that because it really benefits players. The issue I see is that teams like the Flyers, Rangers, ect… are always going to be offering big money for top players and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I think the salary cap limits are really the best way that it can be made fair. One must ask the question should organizations that make more money because their fans pay much more money have any kind of advantage for being successfully ran? Why is it such a bad thing that the big market teams that generate the majority of the revenue aren’t able to benefit from their money to make their teams more competitive? Ok so we change the front loaded contracts so that smaller market teams can protect their assets better, is that really solving the problem here? Nashville is so far under the cap even with Weber signed that even if the Flyers never offered Weber a contract they still have a problem. They still were either going to have to pay Weber a huge contract to keep him off of free agency, or they were going to have to trade him. In fact the Flyers offering an offer sheet may have actually done them a favor by allowing them to keep Weber because he may have opted for free agency. To me the loopholes are a microcosm of the real issue. The real issue is that the NHL has put teams in markets that can’t be successful. As for the draft picks ya no pick is guaranteed, but out of 4 first round picks you should be able to get atleast two good players. Also keep in mind the uncertainty of paying a guy like Weber that kind of money. What happens if he gets a season ending injury or even career ending injury the way Pronger did. Is there any less risk to the Flyers? I really think it depends on the organizations drafting. Nashville by the way does a very good job drafting which has allowed them to be so successful.

      • id4joey - Oct 25, 2012 at 3:55 PM

        chris, off course the PA will want to keep the front loaded contracts. That’s just one aspect of the impasse. They can’t agree on the terms of the CBA. Front loaded contracts will hurt the parity of the league. If you favor the reach teams, then the product is diluted. As you wrote, “The real issue is that the NHL has put teams in markets that can’t be successful”. This will not be solved during the current negotiation. They have to deal with the current make up of the league. Check out this article posted here, on PHT back in September.

        Now, Nashville will hurt financially because they have to pay big money upfront. Money they don’t have. It’s not about the cap for them. Wealthy teams can front load, pay up and burry the contract using the loopholes.

  9. lostpuppysyndrome - Oct 24, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    Even if the players aren’t pumped about the NHL’s latest contract, they do need to get it through their skulls that they have zero leverage. They can only wait for some PR gaffe, and that’s a big gamble. The NHL’s had a few so far but nothing that’s had any real significance. The players are only hurting themselves by losing their pay and it’s not going to get any better. Suck it up, boys. You’ll still be filthy rich. Also take into consideration the people who make a fraction of your pay working jobs linked to hockey games. Just sayin’.

  10. bleedingteal4life - Oct 24, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    If it’s not a full season, then it’s not real. Who would want to win the Stanley cup if its not a real season? In my opinion, it’s a waste unless its a real, full season. FULL SEASON or bust!

    • id4joey - Oct 24, 2012 at 7:03 PM

      I disagree. Playoff hockey is the best hockey spectle in the world. It’s grueling, passionate, intense, fearless. It’s about survival. Think about this; it’s the time of the year when players are at their best, and yet they are not being paid. It’s about the honor of getting your name engraved on the most sacred trophy in the world of sports. So I would much rather have a shorten season taking into consideration that every team will be in the same situation. Blomfeld, do you agree with yourself. LOL

      • blomfeld - Oct 24, 2012 at 8:58 PM

        This is weird man as I sure seem to be agreeing with myself a lot lately ? :)

        Id4joey – I agree completely with you and comrade Vegas … or at least I “mostly” agree completely with you and comrade Vegas. Yes, you’re both correct by pointing out that the difference between this lockout and the last one, is that it’s about money this time, as opposed to money “and” a broken product last time.

        However friends, despite the fact that the NHL as a whole appears to be in much better “financial” shape these days with some teams in fact doing “very” well, please bear in mind that that may be an illusion ? Among the NHL’s 30 x teams, there are at least 5 x teams on life support, another 5 x teams in the OR with probably 5 x more teams are on-route to the hospital now ! In fact, hockey writers here in Vancouver have continually said that as many as “2/3” of the league’s teams are likely in jeopardy ? The point is that the sickness of a few is threatening the well-being of the entire herd. I believe therefore that contraction and northward migration are “inevitable” … or a “culling of the herd” if you will. And I believe that the sooner Bettman acknowledges that, the better it will be for all. If I was an owner of a “successful” money-making team, then I’d probably be angry too for having to cut a cheque every year (revenue sharing payment) to prop up a bunch of sickly loss-making teams.

        As for the number of games to be played ? Please remember friends that “82” is just an arbitrary number and little more. Joey is exactly correct in that better hockey is played as the year progresses, culminating with the Stanley Cup final itself. I see nothing wrong with a 75 game schedule every year.

        ps: be careful friends, as I’ve noticed that this lockout business is bringing out a lot of Agents of Hatred here at PHT lately ? … :)

  11. pats2001 - Oct 24, 2012 at 5:06 PM

    really starting to dislike this Daly guy. he seems to have no problem showing zero enthusiasm about getting a deal done. its like he’s the league’s poster child for the lockout and is thrilled to help contribute to maintaining this lockout

    • blomfeld - Oct 25, 2012 at 12:44 AM

      yeah and don’t you think that Daly sure looks a lot like that bouncer “Steve” from the Jerry Springer show ? … seriously man, it’s not the same guy is it ?

  12. proudliberal85392 - Oct 24, 2012 at 10:31 PM

    Damn it, blomfeld! I’m realizing I agree with you.

    • blomfeld - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:03 AM

      “let us respond to this man with our guns lowered” …

      proundliberal85392 – there’s nothing wrong with agreement friend, as none can ever claim blindness in the face of righteous truth ! Hallelujah ! :)

      Seriously man, I think that the vast majority of posters here at PHT are good people, despite there being a small faction who chose to behave otherwise … such is usually the case though with anything, eh ?

      *** special video selection for proudliberal85392 ***

      • id4joey - Oct 25, 2012 at 4:07 AM

        Hallelujah brother blomfeld. I”d hate having to sign that cheque every year, and I’d certainly hate losing millions because of a lost season.

    • id4joey - Oct 25, 2012 at 4:11 AM

      Blomfeld, is thst you posting as proudliberal? Dude, how many aliases do you need to keep agreeing with yourself? Hahaha! Signed, blomfeld.

  13. proudliberal85392 - Oct 25, 2012 at 7:35 PM

    Hey guys, I assure you blomfeld and I are not the same person. We’re just 2 fans from out West. Blomfeld’s a Kings guy and I love me some Coyotes. In spite of that, I do like him. :-)

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