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NHL lockout: Could existing, unhappy teams form a rebel league?

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As it becomes more and more clear that the NHL lockout is really about small-market teams and big-market teams being unable to settle their differences... Jesse Spector of the Sporting News takes a look at the odds that some teams could break away from the NHL and strike out for themselves.

Thanks for sharing this. I liked the explanation using the Predators and Maple Leafs as examples.

This is unsettling:

While small-market teams of the NHL would be unhappy about ceding power to the “big and wealthy” clubs, the truth is that the league already is run by a select few teams. Because it takes a three-quarters vote of owners to ratify a CBA, a group of eight hardliners is capable of shutting down the league to further their own interests. Because the monolithic NHL does not allow its employees to make public comments about the labor situation, we do not know and cannot know how many of the 30 owners beyond the necessary eight are in favor of continuing the lockout.

But you can also bet that if 22 teams decided to basically secede from the NHL and operate as independent businesses, and poached a couple of folks from NHL headquarters to handle officiating, scheduling, national sponsorships, and the like, the remaining eight would not want to be left watching as their players and fans defected.

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