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6 Biggest Regrets the NHL Will Have If the 2012-13 Season Is Cancelled

Steve SilvermanFeatured Columnist IVOctober 22, 2016

6 Biggest Regrets the NHL Will Have If the 2012-13 Season Is Cancelled

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    The NHL power brokers are gambling with the sport's future by locking out the players.

    Instead of building their game and trying to gain new business revenue as 30 major league teams in the United States and Canada play this game, the NHL decided to keep the most talented hockey players in the world from playing the game at the highest level in front of loyal and adoring fans.

    Those who support the sport by buying tickets, attending games and watching those games on television are angry.

    Many hockey fans are addicted to their sport and when it gets taken away from them, they get angry.

    That's understandable.

    However, the NHL is risking a lot more than fan anger. The league locked out its players in 2004-05 and they are doing it again now. The NHL is becoming known as the lockout league.

    This is damaging to the league's future.

    The NHL will have a number of regrets if it cancels the full 2012-13 season.

Loss of Media Coverage

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    The NHL power brokers are gambling with the sport's future by locking out the players.

    Instead of building their game and trying to gain new business revenue as 30 major league teams in the United States and Canada play this game, the NHL decided to keep the most talented hockey players in the world from playing the game at the highest level in front of loyal and adoring fans.

    Those who support the sport by buying tickets, attending games and watching those games on television are angry.

    Many hockey fans are addicted to their sport and when it gets taken away from them, they get angry.

    That's understandable.

    However, the NHL is risking a lot more than fan anger. The league locked out its players in 2004-05 and they are doing it again now. The NHL is becoming known as the lockout league.

    This is damaging to the league's future.

    The NHL will have a number of regrets if it cancels the full 2012-13 season.

Loss of Trust

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    How can you believe anything NHL management and ownership says?

    They say that they are not making enough money. They claim that too many franchises are losing money.

    Yet just a couple of months ago, teams were spending millions of dollars to sign or retain free-agent hockey players. They also claimed increased revenues.

    You don't have to be a millionaire to know that if you spend more than you take in, you will be in big trouble in your business.

    Owners who spend huge amounts on free agents and then claim to be losing money cannot be trusted.

Loss of New Business

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    Business owners are always looking for new ways to promote themselves.

    In many cases, an association is a preferred way to promote that new business.

    By advertising on hockey broadcasts or using hockey players in their commercial advertisements, some companies find a way to expand and grow their business.

    It's one thing for an established company to associate itself with a sport, but new businesses may be drawn to the sport as well. Instead of spending their money on hockey, they will find a new sport or a new program to spend their money on.

Loss of Players to Europe

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    While the NHL locks out its players, many are finding other professional leagues.

    There are many high-quality leagues in Europe. The best league is the Russian Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). A number of upper-echelon players like Alex Ovechkin, Pavel Datsyuk, Evgeni Malkin and Zdeno Chara are playing in the NHL.

    Will they return to the NHL when the lockout ends? Most likely. However, there are no guarantees that players who resent being locked out wouldn't be willing to end their ties with the NHL and stay in European leagues.

    The NHL could lose a percentage of its players to European leagues.

Lack of Dependability

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    When a sport locks its players out with some degree of frequency as the NHL has done three times since the 1994-95 season, the sport's perception changes in the minds of the public.

    It's not just the diehard hockey fans either; it's also the general public who may or may not be hockey fans.

    The non-hockey fans are aware of the sport and instead of thinking about Wayne Gretzky, the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team or Sidney Crosby, they think of hockey as the sport that locks out its players.

    They come to the realization that the sport is not dependable.

    Instead of buying a ticket to a game, they spend it on indoor soccer, basketball or UFC, because they don't know when hockey is going to lock out its players.

    The example may be extreme, but the sport is no longer there every day and that creates dependability issues.

Fan Resentment

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    This is one that Gary Bettman and the hardcore owners in favor of the lockout laugh at consistently.

    Fans get angry about the work stoppage. Fans were angry in 1994-95 and they were angry in 2004-05.

    However, they have always returned to fill up hockey arenas.

    Those that run the game are taking the fans for granted.

    Perhaps the fans will change their perspective. Perhaps they won't return in record numbers when the lockout ends.

    Just because they have come back in the past doesn't mean they will always return.

    The NHL power brokers are clearly playing fast and loose with those who support their sport.

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