We are not dumb. Neither the NHL nor the NHLPA need to believe that when they consider their options in this already shortened Lockout season.
So the latest is to tell us “…A total of 82 regular-season games… scheduled for Oct. 11 through Oct. 24 were cancelled….” Horse hockey. Eighty-two games aren’t gone. It’s either none, or more than that. Why? Here’s the simple math.
82 / 30 = 2.73.
The NHL does not play any “.73” games. So what have they really done? One of the following:
1. They can play the season two weeks longer this year to the end of June and lose no games. This one has a decent probability of happening as we all know the Lockout issue is money and games tacked on at the end = $$$$$.
2. They can cancel the three additional games played cross-Conference and play a 79-game schedule of the following:
6 x Intra-Division (24 games) + 4 x Inter-Conference (40 games) + 1 x Cross-Conference (15 games) = A Total Of 79 games. This one has about the same chance of happening as #1 above because, with minimum re-scheduling, it can be pulled off without truly lengthening the season.
3. Assuming the goal is to keep the most –
$$$$$- games available, there are at least four other options they will rapidly pass through as time drags on:
3.A. Cancel one game each from within the Division (5 x Intra-Division (20 games) + 4 x Inter-Conference (40 games) + 1 x Cross-Conference+3 (18 games) = A Total Of 78 games.) If another week of games is cancelled next week, this is a likely option.
3.B. Cancel all Cross-Conference games (6 x Intra-Division (24 games) + four times Inter-Conference (40 games) = A Total Of 64 games.) This will be billed as a VERY reluctant decision forced on fans by each side’s unwavering devotion to
$$$$ the process, but, hey, you get hockey by Thanksgiving. A caveat to this option would be to produce a new schedule which includes 4 x Intra-Division (16 games) + 2 x Inter-Conference (20 games) + 2 x Cross-Conference (30 games) = A Total Of 66 games. THIS one they could all claim they did for the fans and we would think it is cool as you would see every team in every barn. A pill as easy to swallow as what we’re already taking, and one that looks like both sides are giving back to the fans.
3.C. Cancel two games each from Intra-Divisional play (6 x Intra-Division (20 games) + 2 x Inter-Conference (20 games) + 1 x Cross-Conference+3 (18 games) = A Total Of 58 games.) This is a ‘before Christmas’ Option. Now THIS ONE is a distinct possibility if both sides are close to revenue-sharing numbers and finally decide they do not want to cancel the Winter Classic which comes with three weeks of HBO specials in front of it. Do this one and at least both sides can somewhat concede they ‘did it for the fans.’ (This option could easily drop the +3 Cross-Conference games as well for a total of 55 games and would look just about the same.
3.D. And finally, the 6 x Intra-Division (24 games) + 2 x Inter-Conference (20 games) = A Total Of 44 games. This is a blatant ‘we need to make SOME money’ option. It is an asterisk season which starts by mid-January. Past this one, we are likely not to have a season.
Just remember, NHL and NHLPA, we are not so dumb out here. Cancelling ‘only 82 games’ is not actually cancelling just 82. We can do the math because it is simple. You know. Simple like, say, 50/50….