Mayor Sam Katz said he is sad to see the National Hockey League season disrupted by a labour dispute one year after the league resumed play in Winnipeg.
There are fears the NHL’s 2012-13 season could be cancelled if the NHL owners and the players association can not achieve labour peace. Katz, who is a Winnipeg Jets season-ticket holder, described the situation as particularly unfortunate for this city.
"If they don’t get some movement soon, we may not see hockey this season, which I think would be really, really sad and unfortunate, for all cities, especially Winnipeg, considering the phenomenal momentum (and) the excitement that happened last year with the return of the Jets," Katz told reporters Wednesday. "It’s a sad scenario when there’s that much money on the table and you can’t come up with something everybody can live with."
Katz said everyone loses in the labour dispute – the owners, the players and especially the fans. But he did express sympathy for the owners’ position, when it comes to slicing up the revenue pie.
"I do believe as the owner, who’s taking the risk, you do deserve some remuneration for that. I don’t see how anybody could think a 50-50 split is realistic," said Katz, who is also the majority owner of the Winnipeg Goldeyes baseball club.
The NHL and the NHLPA are to resume talks today.