They haven't canceled an NHL game yet, but the rookie tournament many of the NHL's teams participated in the past few years was wiped off the schedule Thursday because the Detroit Red Wings, who host the annual event in Traverse City, Mich., pulled the plug with less than a month left to run on the NHL's labor agreement.
That agreement, for which the NHL's owners were willing to give up an entire season eight years ago, one they essentially dictated to the capitulating players, one that kicked off eight years of skyrocketing revenue for the league, has been deemed faulty by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, its architect. "In short," Raleigh News-Observer columnist Luke DeCock writes, the "NHL got everything it wanted in the last lockout. And now, after eight years of unprecedented success, it wants more. If the last lockout was a necessary alteration in the game's basic financial structure ' and everyone from fans to the players were willing to acknowledge some kind of change was needed ' the lockout that's a month away from kicking off is about pure greed."