OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 13, 2012) - The National Hockey League Fans' Association (NHLFA) has released poll results, gathered this week, revealing the feelings of hockey fans on the collective bargaining talks between the National Hockey League (NHL) and the NHL Players Association (NHLPA).
The results of the poll have been separated by American and Canadian respondents. Approximately 60% of the 31,000 NHLFA members are American and 40% are Canadian.
When asked: "Do you believe there will be games played this season?", 69% of American fans and 63% Canadian answered "no". Fewer American fans (17%) believe games will be played this season, compared to Canadian fans (26%).
When asked, "which side in the CBA dispute do you believe is being more reasonable during recent negotiations?", 15% of American fans felt the NHL was being more reasonable compared to 30% of Canadian fans. The distinction continued with 39% of American fans believing that the NHLPA was being more reasonable during negotiations, while only 26% of Canadian fans feeling the players' side were more reasonable. Forty percent (40%) of fans from both countries agreed that "neither side" was being reasonable during negotiations.
When asked: "what level of financial support will you provide to the NHL when the games resume?", one in ten respondents on both sides of the border indicated they would spend the same amount of money on NHL-related products and services. The majority of fans [75% in the US and 82% in Canada] said they would spend "less" money on the NHL when it resumes play. Fourteen percent (14%) of American fans and 8% of Canadian fans have not yet decided what their financial support would be when the games commence.
A wide gap exists between fans in the different countries when asked: "On behalf of team owners, how would you rate the quality of leadership (Gary Bettman and Bill Daly) during the labor conflict?" Two thirds (68%) of American fans believe leadership is "poor", while only half (49%) of Canadian fans believe leadership is "poor". One in five (22%) American fans and 37% of Canadian fans felt the leadership was adequate.
A similar question was posed about NHLPA leadership: "On behalf of players, how would you rate the quality of leadership (Don Fehr and Steve Fehr) during the labor conflict?" Half of the fans surveyed in both countries believe NHLPA leadership is "poor" and one third of all fans think leadership is "adequate".
Not surprisingly, 89% of American fans and 79% of Canadian fans feel that the leadership at the NHL is doing a "poor" job on behalf of fans; and, three quarters of all fans feel the NHLPA leadership is providing "poor" leadership on behalf of its customers.
The NHLFA was launched in 1998 to give NHL fans a way to express their views on the game and to influence it for the better. There is no charge for membership and to date more than 31,000 fans have registered via the Association's Web site, www.nhlfa.com. Though not affiliated with the National Hockey League, the NHLFA communicates closely with the League on behalf of hockey fans.