Winter Classic could put pressure on NHL labour talks

If only the NHL would take into consideration the fans they are going to loose.

National Post | Sports

So who blinks first if there’s an NHL lockout in less than 30 days? The billionaires or the millionaires? The NHL owners or the hired hands?

If we don’t have hockey in October or November or into December, we all know the owners win because they’re not forking over any salaries. But we also know when the NHL home office will get very, very nervous — Jan. 1, 2013.

“I don’t think it’s going past the outdoor game,” said agent Igor Larionov, the Hall of Famer who now represents Nail Yakupov and was in Edmonton the last few days.

With NBC giving the NHL $200 million in that long-term arrangement, the Winter Classic is the league’s great advertising baby to showcase their product to U.S. folks who wouldn’t know Evgeni Malkin was if he was in their soup.

This year, the event is at the University of Michigan’s football stadium…

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