Cumberland Times-News

Local Sports

November 24, 2012

NHL impasse: Will it ever end?

(Continued)

Q: Why has there been so much labor unrest in America's major sports?

A: While the issues have varied somewhat among sports, it is notable that Major League Baseball — the only one among the four major sports without a salary cap — also was the only one among that didn't have a lockout. Some believe the absence of a salary cap gave baseball negotiators more wiggle room to bargain. Donald Fehr was the executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association from 1983-09 before taking a similar position with the NHL Players' Association in December 2010 after a brief stint as a union adviser.

Q: Will there be hockey this season?

A: As more time is lost, additional games are canceled and the rhetoric on both sides increases, optimism wanes that a deal will be reached in time for the season to get going. History says that a deal can be made as late as January that will assure a season. While an 82-game-per-team schedule no longer is possible, a schedule of 60 games or 48 again can be salvaged. If so, those games will likely be limited to intra-conference matchups to cut down on travel and allow for more games to be crammed in.

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