The NHL and NHLPA continue to clash over vastly different proposals on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, and with the current CBA set to expire on Sept. 15, the rhetoric is only going to ramp up further from here. Recent negotiations produced a proposal from the NHL for players to take an immediate cut in revenue shares from 57 percent to 48 percent, and the NHLPA responded by expressing an unwillingness to make any concessions on the current percentage of revenue split until the league addresses the overall health of the NHL and money disparities between teams. Is there a true bargaining zone the exists somewhere behind all of the rhetoric and negotiation tactics? With so much money at stake there certainly is, but it's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel right now.
As is the case in most lockout situations in professional sports leagues, the parties hit the hardest by any work stoppage are the blameless members of staffs at stadiums and other third parties who draw income from games and don't have six-figure savings to tap. Bruce Ciskie of SB Nation NHL does well to remind us all of that fact as the blame game ramps up in the face of a lockout:
Will the players feel enough urgency to make something good happen before they start missing income? Will the owners realize that a lot of people are counting on these games being played for their incomes? Can the sides sit down together for more than a couple hours at a time?
This isn't about blame. Thousands of people depend on the NHL for their livelihood. For them, it doesn't matter whose fault this lockout is. It matters that the lockout ends.
...At some point, this will get done. And we can all hope it's before this lockout -- millionaires fighting over money -- has a serious affect on people who no one involved in the lockout is bothering to think about.
For more on the impending NHL lockout and the ongoing CBA talks between the league and the NHLPA, stick with out StoryStream. For additional updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage on the Blackhawks' offseason, head over to Blackhawks blog Second City Hockey.