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Sports Writers Replaces Lockout NHL Season with NHL 13

By - Source: Bloomberg BusinessWeek | B 13 comments

No NHL season? No problem!

If you're not a hockey fan, chances are you haven't noticed that there actually hasn't been any hockey at all this season. This is because of an ongoing labor dispute between players and the owners of the league's franchises. It's meant the cancellation of well over 300 games and, if the two parties fail to resolve their issues, jeopardizes the whole season.

While this is a bummer for hockey fans (about the only upside is that Black Friday brought some nice discounts on NHL merchandise, such as jerseys), there are others that rely on the hockey season to earn their living, such as journalists that cover the sport. So, what do they do when there's no hockey to cover? They make their own. Kind of.

Bloomberg's BusinessWeek reports that Pat Hickey of The Montreal Gazette has been running the simulation feature on EA's NHL 13 for Xbox 360 and writing about the virtual season for his newspaper. Hickey writes about the simulated games, including quotes from players (which he makes up), and says it takes roughly 60 minutes to watch a game and 45 minutes for the write-up. 

According to Bloomberg, The Montreal Gazette isn't alone in using NHL 13 to give fans their hockey fix. Several bars reportedly air the games on the big screen, and EA and ESPN are logging all the stats of the simulated games online. So far it seems Hickey is alone in his write-ups of the games and homemade quotes from players.

For those interested, EA's stats currently has the Calgary Flames as western conference leaders, while Hickey's own Montreal Canadiens (locally known as the Habs) top the eastern conference.

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  • 2 Hide
    freggo , November 30, 2012 2:24 PM
    No hockey all season.... wow.... did not know hockey season was even on :-)
  • 4 Hide
    assasin32 , November 30, 2012 2:24 PM
    So does this simulate the random fights because it's not hockey without the fights.
  • 2 Hide
    bustapr , November 30, 2012 2:32 PM
    thats certainly interesting. if people are reading it, then hes theres nothing wrong. but watching NPCs play seems a bit too boring to me. dont really know what the reason for lockout is supposed to be, but I hope people get to keep their jobs after.
  • 1 Hide
    Gundam288 , November 30, 2012 2:46 PM
    joepucksterGet your FIRE BETTMAN T-shirts and more at:The arrogant weasel needs to go!!!


    I think this is the 1st time in a while I've seen a spam bot with a relavent spam to the article.

    Bettman = NHL commissioner
  • 3 Hide
    JMcEntegart , November 30, 2012 2:49 PM
    Gundam288I think this is the 1st time in a while I've seen a spam bot with a relavent spam to the article.Bettman = NHL commissioner


    I know. I can't decide if I am supposed to ban him for spamming... Is it spam if it's on-topic?
  • 1 Hide
    bustapr , November 30, 2012 3:00 PM
    JMcEntegartI know. I can't decide if I am supposed to ban him for spamming... Is it spam if it's on-topic?

    join date is today, so I think it might be spam...
  • 0 Hide
    alidan , November 30, 2012 5:32 PM
    JMcEntegartI know. I can't decide if I am supposed to ban him for spamming... Is it spam if it's on-topic?


    personally i down voted it because it looks spammy in appearance
    but because of the relevance, i dont think its a spam bot, but a person behind it.

    if anything, sanction the account until they can talk about why its locked.
    but as for the message... id say let them keep it just because of the relevancy.
  • 0 Hide
    JMcEntegart , November 30, 2012 6:29 PM
    alidanpersonally i down voted it because it looks spammy in appearancebut because of the relevance, i dont think its a spam bot, but a person behind it.if anything, sanction the account until they can talk about why its locked. but as for the message... id say let them keep it just because of the relevancy.


    He's still got just the one post. This leads me to believe he's not a regular reader nor is he a spammer. Either way, I somehow doubt he'll stick around long enough to fight a spam ban. *holsters hammer* Carry on!
  • 1 Hide
    gm0n3y , November 30, 2012 8:15 PM
    As a Canadian, the lockout has weighed heavily on most people in our nation since mid-summer when it looked like no contract would be reached. The team owners and the players' union are trying to negotiate a contract in regards to salary cap and revenue split.

    In the last 20 years there have been 4 lockouts in the NHL. The last one was 7 years ago when the entire season was cancelled. All of this has been spearheaded by the NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, who is villainous figure here in Canada.

    The main problem has to do with the salary cap. Many teams are making a lot of money, but most of the more recent expansion teams are hemorrhaging money badly. Fans have been clamouring for more teams here in Canada, where Ontario alone could support another 2 teams.

    For one example, my local team (Vancouver Canucks) has sold out every game for more than 10 years (#3 out of all North American sports: http://www.thesportmarket.biz/charts/sellout%20streaks/ranktop.html). Even the cheapest tickets can be over $100 for some games, especially during the playoffs. And Vancouver isn't even in the top 5 richest teams. This is compared to a team like Phoenix that is lucky to sell half of their available tickets, many of them in the $10-$20 range.

    So to support the poorer teams, Bettman forced through a salary cap to keep teams from just buying up all of the best players. So the league is trying to force a contract on players that will see the salary cap cut by ~25%, while the league overall is making more money than ever. The players feel that it is only fair that they share in the windfall and have proposed a larger amount of revenue sharing between teams (there is already some) to help out the poorer teams and continue to grow the sport.
  • 0 Hide
    chewy1963 , November 30, 2012 9:08 PM
    As a Bruins fan, this lockout has been pure unmitigated torture. Bettman should be fired! Any way it's gotten so bad I've actually found myself watching football... I've also dusted off my old Xbox 360 (circa 2005) and am playing my own season of NHL10. Alas, that was the last version of the EA NHL series I bought before putting away the Xbox.
  • -1 Hide
    alidan , November 30, 2012 9:26 PM
    gm0n3yAs a Canadian, the lockout has weighed heavily on most people in our nation since mid-summer when it looked like no contract would be reached. The team owners and the players' union are trying to negotiate a contract in regards to salary cap and revenue split.In the last 20 years there have been 4 lockouts in the NHL. The last one was 7 years ago when the entire season was cancelled. All of this has been spearheaded by the NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, who is villainous figure here in Canada.The main problem has to do with the salary cap. Many teams are making a lot of money, but most of the more recent expansion teams are hemorrhaging money badly. Fans have been clamouring for more teams here in Canada, where Ontario alone could support another 2 teams.For one example, my local team (Vancouver Canucks) has sold out every game for more than 10 years (#3 out of all North American sports: http://www.thesportmarket.biz/char [...] top.html). Even the cheapest tickets can be over $100 for some games, especially during the playoffs. And Vancouver isn't even in the top 5 richest teams. This is compared to a team like Phoenix that is lucky to sell half of their available tickets, many of them in the $10-$20 range.So to support the poorer teams, Bettman forced through a salary cap to keep teams from just buying up all of the best players. So the league is trying to force a contract on players that will see the salary cap cut by ~25%, while the league overall is making more money than ever. The players feel that it is only fair that they share in the windfall and have proposed a larger amount of revenue sharing between teams (there is already some) to help out the poorer teams and continue to grow the sport.


    so... let me try and understand this.

    some teams dont make crap
    some teams make sacks of cash
    so the guy in charge decides to help everyone, cut the amount a team can spend on players by 25%
    but the players want to share the wealth?

    does that sum it up well enough?
  • 0 Hide
    chewy1963 , December 1, 2012 6:21 AM
    alidanso... let me try and understand this. some teams dont make crapsome teams make sacks of cashso the guy in charge decides to help everyone, cut the amount a team can spend on players by 25%but the players want to share the wealth?does that sum it up well enough?


    No it doesn't sum it up well at all. What gm0n3y is saying is that if the NHL had allowed teams like Phoenix to move to a better market (i.e. Canada) instead of playing in a freaking desert, those teams might be a bit more profitable and many of the 'poorer' teams wouldn't be in as bad of a financial situation. Also the players association has recommended revenue sharing but the league wants none of that either. They want to load the whole thing on the players share of the revenue (which was cut 24% in 2004 during the LAST CBA negotiations). Not only that, they don't want to pay the players the full amount of their CURRENT CONTRACTS. Its absurd. Now the league/owners refuse to budge from that position.
  • 0 Hide
    alidan , December 2, 2012 6:07 AM
    chewy1963No it doesn't sum it up well at all. What gm0n3y is saying is that if the NHL had allowed teams like Phoenix to move to a better market (i.e. Canada) instead of playing in a freaking desert, those teams might be a bit more profitable and many of the 'poorer' teams wouldn't be in as bad of a financial situation. Also the players association has recommended revenue sharing but the league wants none of that either. They want to load the whole thing on the players share of the revenue (which was cut 24% in 2004 during the LAST CBA negotiations). Not only that, they don't want to pay the players the full amount of their CURRENT CONTRACTS. Its absurd. Now the league/owners refuse to budge from that position.


    what you said sounds like they want to share proffits with poorer teams, but the leauge wants to cut the ammount you can pay players, more or less exactly what i said

    new angle is that they already cut their pay, and they are looking to cut current contracts.
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