Stories, like the following one from the NY Daily News, reporting a unanimous decision by league owners for a lockout are not accurate according an informed source in Canada, who is very close to the ownership of a Canadian team.
NY Daily News, September 13, 2012:
NHL Board of Governors votes in favor of lockout...
The lockout is a lock.According to the Canadian source, the vote was about 20 to 10, in favor of a lockout when the motion was first discussed on Thursday in New York. However, over several rounds of discussion and voting, the 10 or so owners who were initially against the lockout were worn down and convinced to go with the majority in a show of strength and solidarity by all the owners.
The NHL Board of Governors voted unanimously Thursday at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Times Square to support Gary Bettman in the league’s collective bargaining negotiations, meaning they are behind the commissioner’s planned lockout of the players at 11:59 p.m. Saturday if a new agreement is not in place.
“When we were all done, I asked for a show of hands as to whether or not the room was in support of how we’ve been approaching negotiations,” Bettman said at a packed press conference. “One member asked for a formal motion, which was made, and seconded. The vote was taken. And it was unanimous.”...
The ten or so owners, who initially voted against the lockout, were characterized by the source as being the owners, who were "filling their buildings" last season and were not facing financial hardship. You can also logically deduce that one of the owners voting against the lockout had a Canadian team.
Looking at the attendance figures for last season, here are the 16 NHL teams that were "filling their buildings" for every home game:
The 16 teams that are at 100% or better home attendance, and/or making money will be the key to deciding the outcome of the lockout. If these owners can put together a coalition of the profitable the lockout will end sooner rather than later.