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A Closer Look at the Nhl Lockout

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A Closer Look at the Nhl Lockout

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A Closer Look at the NHL Lockout

Sports have been around for centuries, and are now multi-billion dollar franchises. One of these franchises is the National Hockey League; the league has over thirty teams in the United States and Canada. The National Hockey League, or NHL, has recently become a much discussed topic amongst people around the world. The controversies dealing with the recent lockout that they have encountered has resulted in the change of lives for hockey fans along with the athletes themselves. Different opinions have been proposed and different solutions regarding the strike, one thing was clear though, hockey was in need of change. The solutions that have been agreed on changed the way the business of the National Hockey League is run and how the game is played as well. The NHL has a history of the company background that may have resulted in the changes that were made. By discussing the problem and causes of the lockout this analysis will illustrate how the lockout evolved and the possible means of preventing such a lockout in the future. Also, we will identify ways for management, athletes, and other staff to

perform better in a competitive sports franchise.

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~ Brief History of the NHL ~

The history of the NHL spans from the present all the way back to the first professional hockey team in the world. It was actually the National Hockey Association, which was located in Canada in towns that concentrated on farming, mining, and lumbering. This league was formed in 1902, which was approximately fifteen years before the National Hockey League came around. The NHL began in November of 1917, consisting of five hockey clubs. These clubs were the Ottawa Senators, Quebec Bulldogs, Montreal Canadians, Montreal Wonderers, and the Toronto Arenas. The secretary/treasurer, Frank Calder, of the NHA was elected to become the president and the secretary of the newly founded NHL. Slowly players began to join the league making what was back then, a considerable amount of money. The early years of hockey consisted of mostly players from Canada until later in the seventies and eighties. Now the league comprises of 30 teams divided into the eastern and western conference.

But before we talk about the history of lockouts, we would like to briefly talk about some of the interesting history of hockey. Like for example, Lake Placid in 1980 the United States faced off with the Soviet Union. The U.S.S.R. was definitely the dominant Olympic team; they had experienced Hall of Fame players. No one ever thought that the young American underdogs would win 4-3, they were non-experienced college players playing against professionals. This was a huge Olympic win; it installed national pride in our country during the cold war. “Miracle” was a movie that has been released about the players and the emotional game they won.

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In the history of the NHL there have been three strikes. The first strike was in 1992, which was brought about by Executive Director Bob Goodenow. This strike only took place for approximately ten days. In 1994, a lockout occurred and lasted a total of three months. This lockout resulted in the cancellation of half of the season games. In 2004 when negotiations began again to replace the 1995 contract, this negotiation turned into one of the most controversial collective bargaining sessions in the history of professional sports. This lockout started in September of 2004 and lasted 310 days until the 1994-1995 lockout expired. The season was finally cancelled and the NHL became the first North American sports league in history to lose an entire season because of labor disputes . In 1919, the first Stanley Cup was issued and for the first time in 85 years, due to the September lockout, it became the first year that it was not awarded.

The effects of the lockout have been detrimental to fans and the ratings of the NHL. Recently, games have not been available as frequently on various channels as they have been before. Now fans have to struggle to find a channel that their favorite team is playing on because television ratings are extremely low and many major networks just aren’t showing them. Fans even began to refuse to buy NHL products and wear apparel with any NHL logo printed on it. The lockout has also affected other leagues around the world. These leagues include: European leagues and International leagues. Players from the National Hockey League began to take interest in migrating to the European countries to continue playing while the strike was in place. Even young players from the American

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