The NHL is losing money, will the fans pay the price?

Chicago Blackhawks, NHL (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)
Chicago Blackhawks, NHL (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images) /

Another day, that feels like every other day and more news reports about the lack of professional hockey. More reports come out that make things sound promising, and get fans interested.

Draft in June, regardless of the state of the season. Sure.

Maybe the league wants to play in empty stadiums? This sounds like it might be progressing.

And now, it is being reported reports that the NHL and NHLPA have begun to discuss how it might work to get games going again.

There’s just one problem, no one seems interested in the fans.

It’s nice that the teams and the players are willing to sit down and chat about how a resumption of play impacts them, but what voice do fans have if the league’s season precedes this summer?

While scrolling through posts on social media, I saw a series of tweets by Pierre LeBrun about the league possibly resuming play.

This all sounds good, and if the wheels returning to get games going again then sign me up, but some things haven’t been discussed much.

Are those empty-stadium games going to be shown on tv (maybe NBC and CBC), or maybe stream games? Is the league going to offer some kind of special broadcast package for people already subscribing to its service?

Will the games be broadcast on television even if Major League Baseball may not like competition from a smaller league?

What about people who had purchased tickets to games, or season ticket holders?  Are they just out of luck?

Is the league going to raise prices across the board to recover lost revenues, even though it’s almost certain that there will be a recession if not a full-blown economic depression?

Once life returns to some semblance of normalcy, what is the league prepared to do to ensure that fans can still participate with the league, and their teams?

There are a lot of questions.

I love the Blackhawks, and I’d love to see them play again and finish out their season.

The problem I keep coming back to is what will the league be doing to protect its bottom line, and how is that going to impact the fans? Are lost revenues simply going to be passed on to cash-strapped fans that may have lost their jobs during the pandemic?

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Very little has been said about how the league shutdown will impact fans when play resumes, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the NHL restarts with the fans in mind, as much as it’s thinking about its short-term financial success.