While most in NHL circles continue to move forward with what appears to be highly unrealistc hopes of the new season beginning as scheduled, the Winnipeg Jets decided on Thursday to play the honesty card.
In an email from True North president and CEO Jim Ludlow, stakeholders, partners, and season ticket holders were warned of a work stoppage resulting in the cancellation of games and team events; making them the frist NHL team to publicly acknowledge a possible lockout and do so in an in-depth manner.
“As you may be aware from recent reports in the media, the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players’ Association are currently engaged in the process of negotiating a successor Collective Bargaining Agreement to their current Agreement, which expires Saturday, September 15th, 2012,” read a team email from Ludlow and senior vice president of sales and marketing Norva Riddell.
“Although it is the League’s objective to successfully conclude negotiations for the new Agreement by September 15th, it is possible this may not occur.”
The email continued on about the fall out from the potential lockout saying that if a new Agreement is not reached by September 15, the Jets training camp could be postponed and pre-season and regular season games may be forced to be cancelled.
Earlier in the off-season, Detroit general manager cancelled the annual prospect tournament held in Traverse City, Michigan, but other than that there have been very few instances of teams openly admittng that a lockout is looming large.
The honesty of the Winnipeg organization is without question a wise decision as it allows everyone involved with the team, including fans, to prepare for what is starting to seem like the inevitable. Instead of continuing to move forward with petulant optimism, those involved have at the very least been warned giving them ample oppurtunity to move on without a portion, or perhaps the entirety of the NHL season.
It might not seem like the biggest of deals, but the organization should be commended for this display of judgement. Kudos to the Winnipeg Jets.