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Beer Company Wants Reparations from NHL — Who’s Looking Out for Local Bar Owners?

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There’s more to the NHL lockout than players versus owners. The economic impact runs much deeper, and now, a major beer company wants to be compensated. Meanwhile, local businesses, like the Pearl Street Grill, which is usually packed before a home Sabres game, continue to suffer without getting a sniff from the NHL.

Local bar owners should pay close attention to what happens when the Molson Coors company, the oldest and largest beer company in Canada, goes after the NHL for some money because they say the NHL lockout has led to a decline in beer sales.

“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,” Molson Coors CEO Peter Swinburn says.

So now Molson Coors thinks they deserve to be compensated for the lack of sales? Did I miss something? Is there a guarantee of profits when you go into business? That’s corporations for you. So sorry you won’t earn your gold watch in the fourth quarter, Mr. Swinburn. I’m playing the world’s smallest violin.

The funny thing is that Molson Coors is crying poor despite the fact that the company reported a stronger-than-anticipated third quarter. But of course they’re looking to bridge the gap for the decline in profits from fourth-quarter sales.

Molson Coors officials say they plan to ask the NHL for some financial help because of the lockout. It is not clear how much money they’ll ask for. Tell that to the local bar owner, who will get nothing in a deal between the beer company and the NHL. Bars all over Western New York usually frequented because of the Sabres are a little emptier this season without hockey. But I guess that’s their problem.

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