Neither of you reading this probably care too much about the hockey season; most Americans probably couldn't say where the nearest franchise is, let alone name the team. I could get on my high horse and make grandiose claims about why hockey is better than other major league sports - but I won't, because that's just my opinion, and I know it wouldn't be productive. If only the owners and union could do the same.
Given so little to cover and no season in sight, NHL.com has been relegated to daily coverage of a fantasy hockey bracket. Sad times indeed.
With the expiration of the Collective Bargaining Agreement after last season, the NHL and the NHLPA (players' association) have been making halfassed attempts at negotiations and spending more time bickering than the staff of Crossfire. With the season slipping away, the union made the first proposal since the season was slated to start, which was quickly shot down. That's fine, it's part of negotiating... but FFS, there needs to *be* some negotiation. By the tone of Commissioner Gary Bettman's response, that sure as hell ain't the case:
"If the Union does not come forward now, it proves that the Union leadership knows full well that under the Union's proposal, the fundamental failures of our current system will not change and we will be right back where we were in, at best, a couple of years."
Yes, if we can't negotiate, it must be their fault!
"So if we cannot make an agreement with such a modest gap to bridge, it must be because the Union does not believe that the system will reduce costs to the 56.6% level and keep them there."
"By its offer, the Union finally has acknowledged the magnitude of our losses. Despite all of the Union's rhetoric to the contrary, the Union has confirmed the accuracy of our financial reporting. There is no other rational explanation for a $269-million reduction on contracts for this season."
Soo... just by being willing to compromise, they must be proving you right. Great spirit there, bub.
Per a poll
listed on the CBANews site, most Canadians back the owners. I just have a hard time believing much from a site more biased than Fox Sports Pittsburgh (where I heard the color commentary guy say, paraphrased, "I hate the Rangers; I hope they lose 7-1 and die of venerial diseases"); and with wonderful pages like Daly on NHLPA distortions
, how am I supposed to take them seriously?
Honestly, I don't know how to make the damn system work. I'm not convinced that a salary cap would be bad. I think the owners should take more responsibility
for their business decisions. I'd like to see the price of seats go down, the attendance and viewing go up, and more people actually giving a shit about the sport I love. Most of all, I just want my hockey back, dammit.
But if it doesn't come back this year - and we all doubt it will - feel free to blame me. In '94, I was a huge Rangers fan; they won the Cup, and there was a lockout. Having moved to Orlando, I started following the Lightning; they won the Cup, and there was a lockout. Sorry :(