Body Check: Molson Coors's Sour Bet on Hockey

An NHL player lockout is costing the brewer sales in its No. 2 market
Photograph by David Madison/Getty Images

Canada is a country in mourning. A player lockout has blacked out the first two months of the National Hockey League season. Sadly for brewers, fans aren’t drowning their sorrows in beer. Molson Coors Brewing, the NHL’s official beer sponsor, says its sales in Canada are off by as much as 9 percent in the first four weeks of the current quarter compared with the same period a year earlier. Business is down 20 percent at Montreal’s La Station des Sports, where the bar, less than a mile from the Montreal Canadiens’ home ice at Bell Centre, is typically packed on hockey nights. “This hole can’t be filled,” says bar manager Terry Vasil. “Hockey is like religion here.”

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