Skip to content

Winners, losers of the NHL lockout

Jan 7, 2013, 4:08 PM EDT

Scot Beckenbaugh AP

Now that the NHL’s latest work stoppage has ended, it’s time for the part everybody loves: Identifying the losers!

(Fine, we’ll identify some winners as well.)

For the record, we all know fans are losers in any lockout, so that kind of goes without saying for this piece. OK?

Winner: Owners

Regardless of what concessions were made to the NHLPA late in negotiations, owners managed to get a 50-50 hockey-related revenue split after receiving just 43 percent in the last CBA.

According to USA Today, that seven percent increase works out to an additional $231 million per season.

Loser: “Hard-line” Owners

Three in particular took major PR hits.

Boston’s Jeremy Jacobs was identified as a “hard-liner” early in the process and saw his name appear on numerous occasions in a less than glowing light (see here and here and here).

Minnesota’s Craig Leipold, another “hard-liner,” was accused of negotiating in bad faithby his own player.

San Jose’s Logan Couture took things a step further, saying that Jacobs, Leipold and Calgary’s Murray Edwards weren’t exactly winning over players with personality and charm in meetings.

“They’re hard-line guys,” Couture said. “They don’t give you the time of day, and they barely even look at you.

“They’re there for one reason, and that’s to help their teams make money.”

Of course, it’s doubtful any of the three really care. They’re rich.

Winner: Players…after they retire

The NHLPA walked away from negotiations boasting of a shiny new pension plan.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt the pension is the centerpiece of this deal for the players,” said Winnipeg Jets defenseman Ron Hainsey. “That’s not the only thing. There are other things that we were able to hold onto as far as free agency age, arbitration rights.

“But as far as the centerpiece that the players are going to be able to rally around and be proud of, I would say the pension.”

Loser: Players…playing right now

Going from 57 to 50 percent on HRR was a loss. Going from unlimited to an eight-year maximum on contract length was a loss. Pragmatically, having the salary cap drop to $64.3 million in year two was a loss — that could put a major squeeze on unrestricted free agents in 2013-14.

Players also lost a half-season’s worth of paychecks, and the respect of some fans after the ill-conceived “Puck Gary” hats and #LockoutProblems Twitter hashtag.

Winner: Scot L. Beckenbaugh

An instrumental figure in helping the NFL and NFL Referees Association broker their labor deal, Beckenbaugh — Deputy Director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services — was a key figure in helping the NHL and NHLPA work things out, engineering the 16-hour marathon session that eventually ended the lockout.

Beckenbaugh was hailed as for his “extraordinary contribution” by FCMS boss George H. Cohen and received high praise from a number of NHL players.

“Scot Beckenbaugh, next time I’m in NYC, dinner is on me,” Edmonton Oilers center Sam Gagner said on Twitter. “Thanks for helping get us back on the ice.”

Loser: Guy Serota

See here and here.

Winner: John Tavares

Few players enjoyed more European success than the Isles youngster. He signed on with Switzerland’s SC Bern early in the process, played a lot of games (28) racked up a ton of points (42, fourth in Swiss league scoring) and scored four points in four games en route to winning the Spengler Cup with Team Canada.

Outside of his brush with cannibalism, Tavares also managed to avoid injury. In all, a solid lockout.

Loser: Evander Kane

Let’s see…

He signed with KHL Dinamo Minsk, only to be ripped by the head coach for being out of shape.

He left Dinamo after a 12-game stint that included one goal, zero assists, a minus-8 rating, 47 penalty minutes and a one-game suspension for a head-shot.

Upon leaving, he criticized the coaching — “you play six minutes a night and they want you to score three goals a game” — then headed back to North America, where he landed squarely in the “calling Floyd Mayweather Jr. on my money phone” picture flap.

Winner: Donald Fehr

He deftly handled public/media criticism. He maintained a calm, cool demeanor throughout the process (made even more apparent when his adversary, Gary Bettman, was visibly irate following the Dec. 6 debacle.) He fought the owners on a number of key issues and — most importantly — he got the players a better deal than most expected.

“There’s no doubt in my mind Don Fehr saved this union, saved the game,” said Florida forward George Parros. “He was a thorn in their side, I think, a bit, but what he did I think was incredible.”

Latest Posts
  1. North Dakota dominates Quinnipiac to advance in NCAA tournament

    Mar 28, 2015, 2:16 AM EDT

    NCAA Quinnipiac North Dakota Hockey AP

    A round-up of scores from Friday’s NCAA action.

  2. Oilers put dent in Stars’ playoff hopes

    Mar 28, 2015, 12:52 AM EDT

    Getty Images

    Their in Vancouver to face the Canucks on Saturday.

  3. Running Wild: Flames fail to gain ground in playoff race after loss in Minnesota

    Mar 27, 2015, 10:55 PM EDT

    AP

    That’s a blow to Calgary’s post-season hopes.

  4. Could Lundqvist start Saturday for the Rangers?

    Mar 27, 2015, 8:00 PM EDT

    AP

    New York plays twice this weekend.

  5. Eichel, BU avoid opening-round NCAA scare, beat Yale in OT

    Mar 27, 2015, 5:25 PM EDT

    Stu Wilson, Jack Eichel, Alex Lyon Getty Images

    Terriers move one step closer to the Frozen Four.

  6. Video: Berube defends how he’s deployed Lecavalier

    Mar 27, 2015, 5:01 PM EDT

    Craig Berube AP

    “In the middle of the ice in our system, it’s a lot of work.”

  7. Sharks shut down Mueller (hand) for remainder of road trip

    Mar 27, 2015, 4:34 PM EDT

    Vancouver Canucks v San Jose Sharks Getty Images

    And, quite possibly, for the remainder of the season.

  8. Five big games to watch this weekend

    Mar 27, 2015, 4:06 PM EDT

    Derek Stepan, Zdeno Chara, Tuukka Rask AP

    Nail-biting time for Bruins fans.

  9. More bad news for slumping Wings as Sheahan (upper body) out

    Mar 27, 2015, 3:35 PM EDT

    RileySheahan2 Getty Images

    Joins Pavel Datsyuk and Erik Cole on the shelf.

  10. Goalie nods: Make it 33 straight for Dubnyk

    Mar 27, 2015, 2:23 PM EDT

    Devan Dubnyk AP

    News and notes from around the crease…

  11. Caps’ Wilson the latest to be fined for diving

    Mar 27, 2015, 12:36 PM EDT

    Tom Wilson Getty Images

    Washington sophomore now $2,000 lighter in the pocket.

Featured video

Hammond leads Ottawa's turnaround
Top 10 NHL Player Searches