The first thing they're losing is money. Heaps of it. For example the mouthy Ian White, who said nasty things about Gary Bettman, will lose $3 million by not playing this season;
the truculent Jonathan Toews, he'll lose 6 million;
Ryan Miller, who has contempt for the owners because they want to reduce his salary to stop franchises from losing money, why instead of losing the small percentage he'd lose under the owner's proposal, he'll be losing $6.25 million.
NHLPA: decertifying may end season
Miller is a major proponent
of decertifying, a process that would almost ensure no NHL hockey in 2012-13, so he's really determined to lose all that money. He's all about screwing ownership right now, that's how mad he is. But does he really think whatever new CBA eventually comes along - we're assuming here that one eventually comes along - is gonna make up 6.5 million
bucks? How does any player expect to make up for the loss of their salary for an entire season?
Some players say they're doing this for future players, which seems suspect. Future players will be able to take care of themselves, guys, and given the owners are offering a 50-50 split of revenue that has been as high as $3.8 billion
, that to divvied up between about 740 players, a future NHLer will do okay without your sacrifices. Ironically, the only thing threatening that $3.8 billion is the players, if they refuse to sign a CBA much longer many fans and sponsors will abandon the league and that pool of money will shrink instead of grow.
NHLPA: more to miss than money
Money isn't the only thing that the current crop of NHL players are losing. What about their stats? Surely many, most, care about how they finish up in hockey. If you were Sidney Crosby (who at 25 has already made over $47 million, by the way) wouldn't you care about finishing as high up the all-time points list as possible? Daniel Alfredsson has 1,082 NHL points, with another 60 he could not only get into the top 50 all-time, passing countryman Nick Lidstrom, now retired, but he'd retire as the Swede with the 2nd highest point total ever, behind Matt Sundin's 1,349.
And of course there's the Stanley Cup. Alfredsson hasn't won it and the Ottawa Senators looked pretty good in last season's playoffs. If this becomes the second season lost in the last 8 years to labor strife, there will be lots of guys retiring in the next few years - again Ryan Miller comes to mind - without a ring who might have had one had they played. Of course they did wind up playing again last time - after missing a season.
Mike Modano: regrets missing 2004-05 season
Mike Modano is a former NHLer who believes the 2004-05 contract dispute wasn't
worth losing a season over and if they let Donald Fehr lead them down the same path Bob Goodenow did, there will be those who'll regret missing this one. They'll regret missing the money, the joy of playing in the best league in the world, the goals and assists and the chance to have competed for - and maybe won - the Stanley Cup.
In fact, should they miss the entire 2012-13 season I'd be willing to bet that dozens, maybe even hundreds, of members of the NHLPA will one day look back with regret.