It has been said that the NHL and NHL Players' Association can afford to sit out for a while, at least monetarily.
For the NHLPA, escrow payments due to be paid on Oct. 15 have the players feeling comfortable and not having to worry about finding gigs in Europe for a while.
For the owners, not only do they avoid (especially in small American markets) money-losing early-season games that have to go up against playoff baseball, football and basketball, they're still getting a little money thrown into their pockets, thanks to the good folks at NBC.
I had been told a while ago from a source what NHL player agent Allan Walsh wrote on Twitter Wednesday: If the NHL cancels the 2012-13 season, NBC will pay the league the $200 million or so they are owed in rights fees anyway, with NBC getting a free season at the end of the deal, which would incidentally be 2021-22, if there's not another lockout by then.
If lockout wipes out 2012-13 NHL season, NBC makes $200M payment to league and extra year is added onto deal for no rights fee.— Allan Walsh (@walsha) August 22, 2012
While the NBC money wouldn't exactly be a cash cow when divided up by teams, it still gives the owners a small profit to look forward to even if they wait this out as long as possible.