2012

I’ve been getting a lot of questions as far as what I think will happen in 2012. Do I think there could be a lockout in 2012?

Last week’s decision by the NHL solidified to me that all of the whispers and mumblings I’ve been hearing from agents, players and media were indeed true. A 2012 lockout would definitely occur. I remarked long before Kovalchuk inked his deal that his contract (no matter what it was) would be the apocalypse of it all.

How ironic that all hell started to break loose when the NHL rejected Kovalchuk’s contract. To everyone, that meant that we can expect a 2012 lockout (the CBA expires in 2011).

When the announcement came across the wire that the contract was rejected by the NHL, both players and agents started tweeting their disapproval of what had happened (all of them…except @PaulBizNasty…the ramifications of what he said has him without a Twitter account now). Even the players that don’t tweet very often were calling ‘foul.’ No one was happy about it. They kept citing PRECEDENCE.

Precedence says that Kovalchuk’s contract is legit and acceptable. There are players before him that had contracts that could be defined as “circumventing the collective-bargaining agreement” but the NHL put a stamp of approval on every single one of those controversial contracts. Why say NO now? Why Kovalchuk’s contract? Why do this so close to the re-negotiations of the CBA and when the NHLPA is at its weakest?

There are many conspiracy theories regarding the reason why the contract was rejected, but players and agents agree that a lockout is forthcoming now that the NHL has decided to all of a sudden start rejecting these contracts citing the CBA.

The contract Kovalchuk has is equipped with a 2012 protection clause for the ‘just in case’ there is a lockout. Better to be prepared than to be sitting there in 2012 running through your options of whether you should head to Europe and the KHL for a season or to stay in North America hoping you get to play soon.

If Kovalchuk and his agent had the foresight to put in that little clause, you can consider the 2012 lockout to be a serious issue.

The stage has now been set. His contract has now laid the groundwork to the drama that will be discussed and debated as the new CBA is constructed in 2012. The NHL has put their fist down and now the battle begins.

It’s interesting to see the emotion involved across the league with regards to the rejection of Kovalchuk’s contract. Players have said that this rejection is evidence that the NHL does not care about them. Yes, the bark is getting louder.

Either way, 2012 is the year that fans will lose out while a new agreement is made.

It is ironic that the sport of the gods will be battling it out in 2012. Isn’t that the year that the Mayans projected would be the end of the world? The timing is just beyond ironic. Almost makes you want to ask if they were predicting the end of the NHL as we know it. Like I said, hockey is the sport of the gods.

I remember reading stories of how the ancient Mayans would watch the stars and say that it was like watching the gods playing in a sporting event. To me, the stories sounded like they were watching a hockey game.

Maybe they were, because based on the rules of the game it was very similar to hockey.

Yes, I’m just throwing that out there just because of all of the irony involved.

For the fans, I suggest stockpiling hockey games for the next 2 seasons. It will help you get through the off-season and the lockout.

Also, try your local rinks. Get your hockey fix by watching local kids battle it out. You can try university hockey and the minor league teams. Consider it a mandatory financial break from paying exorbitant amounts of money on a live NHL game, and saving yourself from food poisoning from the majority of the arenas out there. Who knows, many of those NHLers may head down to the minors just to get some ice time in.

But to truly get your hockey fix…I suggest playing some hockey yourself with friends, family, the neighbors, etc. It’ll be good for you.

For us writers, we’ll still be covering what’s happening…and probably writing about other things, too.

Be prepared.

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