The NHL trade rumors are back! And with this summer’s labor dispute and the very real possibility of a lockout, the NHL and its owners may want to consider trade proposals that would significantly reduce the time that it would take to negotiate a trade.
The NHL has always tried to have some sort of trade in the summer prior to the start of the regular season. The reason for the season starts is to give the teams enough time to get to the practice grounds and the arena as quickly as possible. Allowing a trade to occur in the middle of the season would mean the league would have to go to lockout and it is difficult to imagine the owners wanting to deal with a new labor agreement that involved the damage to the league’s economy. If a deal is completed before the start of the season, it may save the NHL owners from financial harm, but it also raises questions about the league’s strength and ability to continue in the future.
To attempt to prevent the possibility of a strike by the owners, the NHL has been trying to work out a new deal. Now, the owners are reluctant to move forward without a deal and they are also seeking new labor negotiations with the NHL Players’ Association. There is no agreement in place between the league and the players, but the owners are willing to continue working towards a deal.
But with the lockout drags on, it would be difficult for the NHL to begin the season. For the next few weeks, fans may see the NHL reduced to nothing more than a passing shadow of what it used to be.
There is no guarantee that the NHL owners will agree to anything. And even if they did, there is a chance that the lockout will last much longer than anyone anticipates. If the lockout lasts the length of the season, there is a strong possibility that the NHL could see players walking out of the league.
For the fans, the NHL’s struggle could be frustrating, but the potential impact to the NHL and its future is still a long way off. There is no assurance that the lockout will end any time soon, but it is possible to imagine the possibility of being greatly reduced in the next year or two.
A lockout is going to be much more likely in the fall than in the summer, so there is still some time for the NHL to work out a deal. Perhaps by the time the lockout comes, a majority of the league owners have the financial strength to possibly solve the NHL’s woes.