The NHL Lockout: It’s all about interest

Losing interest in the NHL

The 3.3 billion dollar question is: will the interest that NHL teams are paying their season ticket holders to keep their money on account, be sufficient to offset the inevitable drop in fan interest in the NHL as a product the longer the lockout continues? I’m pretty sure the answer is no. Except maybe in Minnesota, where the Wild are offering an astonishing 10% APR for fans that leave their money with the team.

Hmmm, that gives me an idea…

…any NHL players out there looking to make up some lost income over this lockout might want to consider investing in Wild season tickets. I mean, nobody’s provided a 10% guaranteed return since Bernie Madoff was in business. Heck, this is such a good deal, I was actually considering becoming a Minnesota fan myself. But then I realized I would have to stop believing in math, so, that was the end of that idea.

But enough of my get rich quick schemes. Let’s talk about the NHL owners’ get rich quick scheme: the lockout.

In case you forgot, Gary Bettman let slip the real cause of this, the third lockout, under his tenure. He didn’t come out and say it outright, but it was pretty clear if you read between the lines:

There's an NHL fan born every minute

To be clear – I’m not blaming you, the hockey fans, for causing the lockout. It’s the owners’ contempt for hockey fans and their inclination to take for granted the notion that you’ll be back just like last time that’s at fault. Well, most of them take it for granted. I’m not so sure about Minnesota given that they feel the need to offer 10% APR to ticket holders. I guess if I was on the hook for $200 million for just two players I would be a little worried too.

Now, some of you might be thinking I’m being too cynical. After all, the NHL has been telling us all summer that they’re willing to negotiate around the clock to find a solution. A lockout was the "last resort," and not something the owners really want. Well, maybe they’re right, because I thought these statements were about as realistic as another mythical resort made famous by the Eagles, with one key difference:

Last resort 

Appropriately enough, Hotel California would work really well as the theme song for this lockout. As explained in the song’s Wikipedia entry (and we all know that if it’s on Wikipedia, it must be true):

On the surface, it tells the tale of a weary traveler who becomes trapped in a nightmarish luxury hotel that at first appears inviting and tempting. The song is an allegory about hedonism, self-destruction, and greed in the music industry of the late 1970s.

Indeed, what is this lockout if not a self-destructive product of the NHL’s incessant greed? Just replace "hotel" with "CBA" & "music industry" with "NHL" and it could have been written today. Actually, since that quote is ripped from Wikipedia, it probably was written today, but you know what I mean. The hedonism I’m not sure about, but to be honest I really don’t want to know about Ed Snider’s bunga bunga parties.

Speaking of wanton hedonism, I want to conclude with a comment on the real lockout victims across the US and Canada. Some might call them players, but these are just regular guys from all walks of life, and they too are suffering from being locked out:

Too much Brandi

Altough in this case, a lockout may be entirely justified.

That’s it for another week here at Graphic Comment. It’s nice to get back to the badly drawn charts after a week pouring through the NHL’s financial data over at NHLNumbers (see links below). Pictures really are worth a 1,000 words, especially when it comes to the effort put into them!


Winners and losers under the current CBA (Part 1), Part 2, Part 3

NHL Fans: Don’t go away mad, just go away

Don’t get your hopes up

Don’t kid yourself; the owners aren’t losing the PR battle

Winners and losers in the NHL CBA negotiations

What Mike Gillis did on summer vacation