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The Puck Stops Here: NHL Lockout Hurts Canadian Beer Sales

11.10.2012 08:50 AM

Molson Coors brewers are crying into their beers this season, thanks to the NHL Lockout.

Personally, I’m so mad I could punch a baby. Ovetchkin’s over in the KHL making $5.7 million tax-free, Patrik Berglund’s playing for free overseas, and many of my dear Sabres are playing the AHL “peewee league” just to keep the dream alive.

Hockey fans are feeling damn spiteful. We’ve abandoned our favorite bars. (In my city, many hockey joints have already closed up shop.) And without the constant barrage of advertisements, we’ve forgotten about our favorite Canadian beers too.

Molson’s third-quarter profits inched up a mere 0.5 percent, although their volume increased significantly after the $3.4 billion acquisition of European brewer StarBev. Meanwhile, profits are sliding in the U.K., Canada and the U.S. The fourth quarter is expected to be “the most challenging” – thanks to the lockout.

Admittedly, it’s hard to precisely calculate the lost revenue from the two-month lockout so far, but CEO Peter Swinburn explained, "Whether it's people not actually physically going to the venues and consuming there, consuming in venues around the outlet before that, or indeed having NHL sort of parties at home, all of those occasions have disappeared off the map and you just can't replicate them."

OUCH!

Swinburn added that he is seeking financial compensation from the NHL as a result of the negative impact the lockout has had on the hockey league sponsor. "There will be some redress for us as a result of this. I can't quantify that and I don't know because I don't know the scale of how long the lockout is going to last," he says.

I’m not going to be a crybaby like Swinburn. Instead, we’re just going to put on our tuques, watch Slap Shot, KHL matches, and re-runs of our best games of old, while drinking our 2-4 of Molson Canadian and eating our beavertails.

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