Sports

Lockout Threatens NHL Season

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Hockey is a much loved part of the Canadian winter; however, this year many fans may have to go without. Image: Elliot
Hockey is a much loved part of the Canadian winter; however, this year many fans may have to go without. Image: Elliot

The start of the National Hockey League (NHL) season, and the season in general, may not happen as expected.

The NHL has locked out its players.

For the second time in eight years, the NHL is experiencing problems between its owners and players.  

The Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between players and owners has expired, or ended.

The CBA is an agreement between employers (the owners) and employees (the players). It sets out the terms and conditions of employees in their workplace. In this case, the NHL. It also outlines their duties and the duties of the employer–in this case, the team owners.

There was a deadline–September 1–for both sides to come up with an agreement on all of these things.

They didn’t, and in turn the owner’s have locked out their players. That means, the players can’t play, even if they wanted to.

The main disagreement is over money. Players currently receive 57 per cent of hockey-related revenue (for instance, from ticket sales), and the owners want to bring that number down as far as 47 per cent.

The lockout is stirring up memories of the 2004/2005 NHL season, when the owners also locked out the players. That season, however, didn’t happen at all. Because they couldn’t agree, the entire season ended up being cancelled. It was the first time a major professional sports league in North America canceled a whole season because of a labour dispute.

So far, training camps have not started and all pre-season exhibition games have been cancelled to the end of September.

In the meantime, some players are finding work in professional leagues in Europe.

Jason Spezza, who normally plays for the Ottawa Senators, has signed a deal with the Rapperswil-Jona Lakers in Switzerland. Anze Kopitar, who normally plays for the Los Angeles Kings, has agreed to play in Sweden. Russian stars Alex Ovechkin and Pavel Datsyuk, who normally play in the NHL, have each returned home to play in the KHL (Kontinental Hockey League) in Russia.

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS
By Jonathan Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
Would losing the hockey season change how you feel about the NHL? Would you welcome the league back next year? Would you hold a grudge?

Reading Prompt:  Comprehension Strategies    What did you know about hockey and the NHL before you read today’s article? Reread today’s story and underline all of the information you knew already. How did your previous knowledge on this topic help you understand the article better?

Primary
Identify a variety of reading comprehen- sion strategies and use them appropri- ately before, during, and after reading to understand texts (e.g., activate prior knowledge through brainstorming and/or developing mind maps) (OME, Reading: 1.3).

Junior
Identify a variety of reading comprehension strategies and use them appropriately before, during, and after reading to understand texts (e.g., activate prior knowledge through asking questions about or discussing a topic) (OME, Reading: 1.3).

Intermediate
Identify a variety of reading comprehension strategies and use them appropriately before, during, and after reading to understand increasingly complex texts (e.g., activate prior knowledge on a topic through dialogue and discussion) (OME, Reading: 1.3).

Grammar Feature: Acronyms
An acronym is a word that is created by taking the first letters of a name or phrase. For example, USA is an acronym because it is created by taking the first letters in the name of the country, United States of America.

Figure out the following sentences using the acronym code below.

1. ADN, I know he’ll BBL, FBOW.
2. OBTW, IDK so you should DIY.
3. Boy, am I GTSY! ATM the dogs are barking like mad!

‘at this moment,’ ‘be back later,’ ‘I don’t know,’ ‘do it yourself,’ ‘any day now,’ ‘glad to see you,’ ‘oh by the way,’ ‘for better or worse,’

*Don’t be worried if you come across an acronym with periods between the letters, some writers prefer this style.