NHL: Here We Go Again

The worst has happened for all hockey fans worldwide. For the third time in 18 years, the NHL has undergone a lockout and all fingers point to NHL commish Gary Bettman. Once again, Bettman is proving why he is the most frustrating and pretty much the worst commissioner in all of sports. The NHL was projected to begin October 11th with four games. After this past Sunday,  there is no telling when opening night will be. This lockout has resulted in the many  issues that has hung around the league like a black cloud for almost the past year.

The deadline had passed early Sunday and come to due to many issues. It is safe to say that both sides disagreed mainly on the economic issues of the situation. Negotiations on a CBA agreement where both sides were satisfied  is something that has yet to be settled and probably won’t be for a while. The league was quoted saying that they are committed to reaching an agreement. Who knows when that will really be. Another one of the leagues big  issue is the salary cap. A lot of that money is being spent on ridiculously long contracts when really the money should be invested into its teams. Too much money is being thrown around on players. A lot of that money should be invested into the league and its teams so things like this don’t happen again. A salary cap needs to be instilled with some type year limit within the contract. Rick DiPietro’s 15 year, $67.5 million contract is a perfect example and look where that left the Islanders.

The big thing that everyone needs to realize is how pathetic Gary Betteman is. How could he let this happen again? After a season where the league had so much success and excitement, to let this one go just feels wrong. After a season with so much excitement, where we watched the L.A. Kings make a historic run to the Stanley Cup and beat the New Jersey Devils. NHL fans had a lot to look forward to for this upcoming season, with so many off season moves like Zach Parise to Minnesota and Rick Nash to the Rangers. As painful as it is for me to say, it would of been interesting to see if Sidney Crosby will return to his old self. With such excitement in the air about the sport, and to not have it and not even know when it will begin is really the biggest disappointment. Its tough to know that a league that is driven by athletes who are so passionate about their sport won’t be able to lace up the skates and play some puck this season. Even more upsetting, what will us fans do? What will Montreal Candian fans do? I don’t even want to think of the riot that could be brewing in Vancouver.

For all the Happy Gilmore‘s out there, just take a deep breathe. Relax, you will see Barry Melrose again. I know it will be hard, but we will get through this. There are plenty of other ways to fulfill your hockey fix. Nothing wrong with getting NHL 13 and playing for hours upon hours. Don’t be ashamed if you decide to watch the Mighty Duck Trilogy and then decide to watch each Slap Shot right after. No shame in watching the KHL or checking out some future stars in the OHL and AHL. Syracuse Crunch anyone?

All fingers point to Betteman as the one to blame. Once again, he ignored the problems and dealt with them in an untimely matter. Ultimately, these problems should of been solved back in June, but of course Betteman in classic fashion, waited a month before the season to really get the negotiations started. How has he not been kicked out of his position yet? How can he live with himself knowing for the third time(yes the third time) he has let the league and its millions of fans down. I’m honestly speechless and somewhat dumbfounded  on how it has happened again. Only time will really tell how long we have until we get to watch our team fight for the cup. Until then we must pray to the hockey gods, or the characters from Mystery AlaskaWhatever works best for you.