Welcome back, NHL
So, the new CBA is a done deal, however, it will be some time yet before anyone knows for certain if the impact will be all positive.
My take on the new deal, with my limited knowledge of it, is that it's a definite step in the right direction from an owner point of view. But does this new reign on player salaries have any loopholes? I'm sure some may pop up, but even if they don't, if the NHL revenues climb high enough, the salary cap could theoretically be stretched quite high. We could one day again see the days of $60+ million payrolls. So time will be the only telling tale of how well this deal will function.
My main question now is what about the fans? The players and owners have apparently kissed and made up, no doubt they're busy high-fiving each other or bending each other over their respective sofas as we speak. But what do the fans get out of this?
So far, it would seem, very little. I don't anticipate a significant drop in ticket prices - if any at all, and even though I never expected a drop off in prices - what a slap in the face it is if there are no monetary concessions thrown our way.
Aside from that, the new look NHL is toying with the idea of more inter-divisional/inter-conference games. From where I sit, the idea of watching the Minnesota Wild play the Vancouver Canucks 8 times this coming year makes me want to puke. Worse than that, does this mean that teams out west will only see Sidney Crosby once in the next two to three seasons? Good grief I hope not.
But anyways, it's just nice to have the NHL gearing up for action again, and I look forward to sharing thoughts and ideas about hockey once again. The buyout and free agency period should be a complete gong show, and I've got my popcorn handy.