Cancelation of Winter Classic May Not Mean End of Season

I'm pretty sure we all agreed that if the NHL canceled the cash cow that is the Winter Classic, the 2012-13 season would be finished. So why, after the NHL did just that yesterday, is Darren Dreger giving us hope that a season could be salvaged?

Dreger tweeted yesterday afternoon that the NHL made a big concession by stating it would absorb the "Make Whole" provision.

Initially the NHL stated that any current player salary that would be rolled back under the 50/50 split would be made up in "Make Whole" payments over time. However, those payments would be coming from an escrow account that will largely be funded by the players portion of the hockey related revenue. So essentially, the players would be paying themselves back with their own money. Meaning their HRR split would actually decrease to below 50%.

Dreger adds that this concession was made three days ago and that the NHLPA wanted more details before they got too excited.

…to me this is huge. This would allow the players to receive every penny of their current contracts (a big sticking point for the NHLPA) while allowing the owners to increase their percentage of hockey related revenue. Really trying to not get overly excited, but this has me real confident that there might be a chance for a season.

…my one question is if the league made this concession three days ago, why would they cancel the Winter Classic before hearing back from the players? If they can get this settled in the next week or so there is still plenty of time to prepare for the NHL's biggest stage.

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