If you haven't heard, the NHL might just be facing a lockout next month.
The league and its Players' Association are trying super hard (we promise!) to bridge the gap on their issues and will be meeting everyday for the next month to try and get a deal done on a new collective bargaining agreement, but the word lockout has already been thrown around publicly by Gary Bettman, and confidence that the two sides will get the deal done by the Sept. 15 expiration of the current CBA is waning.
If you only read NHL.com, though, you'd never know this was a problem!
Here's quick glimpse at the league's official website on Tuesday about 30 minutes after Bettman met with the media and the NHLPA submitted its own CBA proposal. Click to enlarge.
The four stories in their little carousel section on the left:
- Two stories on the Anaheim Ducks
- Willie Mitchell's day with the Stanley Cup
- Max Pacioretty's new contract with the Canadiens
- A poll on the top overtime playoff games of 2012
Alright, we get it. Why would the league want to publicize a potential labor dispute right there in the middle like that? We'll understand if they save this completely un-sexy story for their Top Headlines section on the right side of the page. After all, it's negotiation. It's not fun. But it's still important enough to be near the top, obviously.
A list of stories (in order from the top) under the Top Headlines section:
- Five stories about the Ducks, including those same two that were highlighted with pretty pictures on the left side
- An index of their offseason team-by-team reports
- The Pacioretty signing story, again
- P.K. Subban wants to stay in Montreal a long time too
- Mitchell's day with the Cup, again
- Day-old news that Jean-Sebastien Giguere has re-signed with the Avalanche
- Two-day old news that Flyers' defenseman Andreas Lilja is out for a few months with an injury
- Russia beat Canada in Game 3 of their Challenge series
- "Growth discussed in NHL, NHLPA session"
That's 12 stories that NHL.com finds more important than what essentially amounts to the future of their league. It may be an ugly story and it may be a boring story compared to the on-ice stuff fans actually care about, but none of that on-ice stuff happens without a CBA. Until there's a new one, it shouldn't be near or at the top of the page, not buried behind days-old news.
Oh, and for the record: NHL Network hasn't seen a bit of new, original programming in months. They're showing the 2004 Stanley Cup Finals today, though, which seems a bit convenient considering those were the last games played before the last lockout.