Day After Deadline Thoughts


September 13, 2012; New York, NY, USA; NHL commissioner Gary Bettman speaks during a press conference at the Crowne Plaza Times Square. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-US PRESSWIRE

Well, it’s the day after the day. The owners lockout of NHL players has started. I think most people knew it was coming to this. I viewed the deadline like I do the end of my vacations. I used to worry so much about the end of a trip, that I would ruin the vacation worrying about the day it would be over. I’m glad that I ignored the Sept. 15 deadline. All the energy put into worrying about the CBA would have been a waste of time. This is what both Gary Bettman and Don Fehr wanted. I truly believe that. If not, the owners would have put a “real” offer on the table back in July instead of their  ridiculous low ball offer. And the NHLPA head Don Fehr would not have waited until August to put a players proposal on the table. Now that the lockout is real, here are some things I think, I think.

September 12, 2012; New York, NY, USA; NHLPA executive director Don Fehr during a press conference at the 2012 NHLPA summer player meetings at the Marriott Marquis. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-US PRESSWIRE

I hope the NHL owners know who they are dealing with. Ask baseball owners about Mr. Fehr. They tried to jerk the MLBPA around for years. They cost themselves $64 million  with their collusion to keep salaries down in 1985, 1986, and 1987. They were shown to be even “dumber” than NHL owners. Fehr blew up the entire 1994 postseason and World Series with a mid-season strike and was prepared to continue it into the 1995 season. Baseball was hurt so much by that strike that they turned their back on the steroid use that lead to the Mark McGuire- Sammy Sosa home run race in 1999.  Baseball needed that race. That is what brought the game  back. I worry that the 65 year old Fehr looks at this lockout as his “last rodeo”. People bring up Bettman serving during 3 lockouts, but there has been only one man involved in work stoppages in two different sports and that’s Donald Fehr.

When it comes right down to it, I don’t see how the players win this negotiation.  Players have a short career window. How much time and money are they prepared to lose? If they are trying to keep things as they are, I don’t know how they can win. The owners can wait them out if that is what they want. Of course the owners lose too, but their pockets are a lot deeper. Do players really want to end their career like Ron Francis did?

What if games are cancelled? Got an e-mail from the Hurricanes saying that if there are games cancelled, they will provide me with 3%  interest on my season ticket money. To that I say go pound sand! I’ll be getting back every penny for games the NHL cancels with their lockout. My family sacrificed in order to get 3 full season tickets for this year. We came back after 2004, as did a lot of fans. Unbelievable that we would be put through this again.

Both NHL and NHLPA, please save the “we’re sorry” or “thank you’s”. Even though I back the players in this mess, I don’t need to hear any apologies from them. Truth be told, this is about business. Both Fehr and Bettman could give a “hoot in hell” about the fans. Just stay off twitter and go take care of your business.

A plea to hockey media up north: could we please not have any more relocation/sunbelt/non-hockey market articles. The Panthers, Coyotes, Predators, Hurricanes, Bluejackets, are not the cause of this lockout. The five reasons for this mess are G-R-E-E-D. And this knife cuts both ways in my eyes.

This lockout will end. I have no idea when. I do know that when it ends, the players and owners will have their millions and billions. The fans, ticket takers, parking attendants, office staff, and restaurant owners will all be left in the damage. Whether “The Game” is part of that damage depends on just how stupid the NHL and NHLPA want to be.

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