I don't think this is as serious an issue as some might make it out to be. Even if there had been no lockout, ESPN may well have opted not to renew. It makes sense, considering the current climate (lockout or no lockout) for ESPN to look for a better deal.
I'm betting that a new deal will be negotiated, with less money coming the way of the NHL. Not great, but not a disaster either.
I would like to think that this would be a useful bargaining chip in the negotiations, but I'm skeptical.
Struth mate, I hope you're right on that one. As far as hockey is concerned, our only hope is through ESPN as we don't carry any of the games that are screened elsewhere.
At least what you say makes sense, so it's all good..