The world of professional sports as long been immune to most societal norms — from double standards for celebrity-athletes to salaries that seriously stretch any credible definition of supply and demand. But the looming possibility of a National Hockey League work stoppage next season is beyond bizarre.
According to Tampa Bay Lightning officials, being out of business — for a whole season or more — would actually help the franchise’s bottom line. It’s estimated that the team, which loses money, would simply lose less. It would see those losses cut by 50 % if it didn’t have to pay salaries. And player salaries is the issue; that’s where 76 per cent of revenues go. The league, which doesn’t have a lucrative network TV deal like the National Football League, wants a salary cap. The players don’t. That’s the line being drawn in the ice across the NHL.