Colorado Avalanche season opener is tonight! Oh, never mind....
The Colorado Avalanche was scheduled to open the season against the St. Louis Blues tonight at the Pepsi Center. But thanks to the NHL's failed attempt to resolve its collective bargaining issues, the first two weeks of games have been cancelled amid the current lockout. If the NHL can suddenly convince players and owners to split billions of dollars equally (highly unlikely), the earliest the Avs will play is October 25.
Three members of the current Avalanche squad have already signed overseas. On October 2, center Matt Duchene inked a deal with Sweden's Frolunda FC. A day later, forward and newly named team captain (the youngest in NHL history, by the way) Gabriel Landeskog signed with his former team -- Djurgarden, also located in Sweden, his home country. Meanwhile, goaltender Semyon Varlamov came to terms with his former team Lokomotiv in his native Russia. Lokomotiv has been retooling its roster since a plane crash killed its entire team in September 2011.
The present lockout kicked off September 16, when the previous collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and the NHLPA (Players Association) expired. On October 1, the NHL slashed its employees' pay by 20 percent and required only four-day work weeks in order to cut costs. NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly says the league has already lost over $100 million in preseason revenue alone.
NHL Comissioner Gary Bettman.
This is now the third lockout under NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. In 2004-05, the entire NHL season was cancelled due to a labor dispute on his watch -- the first time in North American professional sports history that a complete season was wiped out as a result of a lockout. During that time, a whopping 50 percent of NHL employees were laid off.
The largest obstacle the NHL must overcome in the existing lockout is hockey-related revenue, also known as: money. The previous agreement between the NHL and NHLPA saw players receive 57 percent of all hockey-related revenue. NHL owners want to lower this ratio down to a more even split -- somewhere near 50-50. Naturally, the players are unwilling to budge, and many have pointed to Bettman's boisterous claims that NHL revenue has risen over $1 billion since the last lockout to explain why they're standing pat. But as true as Bettman's proclamation was, it doesn't exactly tell the entire story.
Continue to read more about the Colorado Avalanche's season opener that isn't.