A hockey season has rhythms. In August, while we’re scattering to our vacation spots, National Hockey League players are already skating full-bore. By Labor Day, they have returned to their respective cities of employment. In mid-September, they are peaking to ace their annual fitness tests. By early or mid-October, it’s game on until June, when one of 30 teams lifts the Stanley Cup.
For more than one anxious month, the only rhythm has been the bargaining ping-pong between the NHL and the National Hockey League Players Association. On Sept. 16, the NHL locked out its players. They cannot agree on how to divide an annual bounty that totaled $3.3 billion in 2011-12.