The NHL is a league that is very important to a widespread number of Canadians. Coast to coast to coast, hockey is considered the country’s national sport, and the NHL is considered the quality standard for prime hockey talent. With the league in lockout for over two months now, bets are being placed on whether there will be a season at all. Colourful hockey commentator and Canadian icon Don Cherry has publicly said he would bet no.
Bookmakers and online sportsbetting sites have also been offering odds on the likelihood of an NHL season, and hockey fans should not like the numbers. Two weeks ago, online sportsbetting site Bovada had the NHL lockout as a favourite choice for gamers to bet on. The odds for a January 1 start were at the time considered even. However, with no significant progress made in discussions since that time, an active season is now considered the underdog to a cancelled season. In fact, NHL fans who really want to believe a season will still occur should put money on that hope. If agreements are miraculously made, the game is back and money is won.
The lockout has become nothing more than a running joke between two men with big egos, no compassion, and a will to throw the game under the bus. News reports that the league and the players’ union are starting, and then stopping discussions have become an all too familiar pattern. The latest example comes after a weekend that was suggested to be very promising in closing a deal, suddenly dissolving into two weeks with no discussions. This game of chicken only prolongs the agony that hockey fans feel who don’t care which side is right or wrong; they just want the game back.
This latest lockout comes only eight years after the NHL became the first North American professional sports league to cancel an entire season because of a labour dispute. The odds suggest history is about to repeat itself this season and sportsbetting sites are considered an outlet for fan frustration. But perhaps the real bets should be on how many disgruntled NHL fans will return to the league once a deal has been made? Suggestions have been made that unlike the last lockout, fans will not be so quick to forgive the NHL this time around.