The collateral damage of a possible labor dispute in the NHL has begun to set in, as the Detroit Red Wings today canceled the annual prospects camp they host in Traverse City.
General manager Ken Holland told the Free Press that, "we had a conference call with all the teams involved. Due to the uncertainty of CBA negotiations and teams having to make commitments for hotel rooms and travel plans -- the biggest thing is the hotel rooms. The people Up North needed to know if the rooms would be used or not. So we made the decision to cancel for 2012. We plan to be back next year."
Games among prospects for the Wings, Buffalo Sabres, Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers and St. Louis Blues were to have run Sept. 15-19 at Centre Ice Arena.
"Collateral damage," indeed. How much of an economic impact does the tournament have on Traverse City, Michigan (population 14,674 per 2010 Census data)? Consider the following.
Seven teams were each bringing 20 players plus coaches and trainers to TC, where they would stay for five days. At a minimum of 12 hotel rooms per club, that's 84 rooms times five days times a conservative estimate of $75 per room per night.
That's over $31000 just in lodging revenue lost by TC businesses, and that's not even including the Red Wings, who bring their entire team up to TC for training camp and stay for several weeks, nor does it include lodging for the various members of the press who would be present to cover the event. Plus, local restaurants have lost the revenue from well over 200 people who will now not be eating in their establishments three times a day for five days.
Y'all do the math.
I will leave to others the editorializing as to which side -- labor or management -- is more to blame for this wretched mess. Looking at this as a fan of professional hockey -- and especially as a fan of the prospects from all clubs, who are the future of this game -- all I can say is, damn them all for jeopardizing the future of the game in the US because of greed.