No sport has controlled its athletes as effectively and totally as hockey. Though fabulously profitable in the long-term, the NHL has always been able to convince the players — in good times or bad — that the clubs couldn’t afford the salaries, benefits and working conditions they demanded, and that if they persisted, the players would kill the sport.
But those days are over.
Yes, that was back in 1991. Turns out those days were not over at all.