I am truly hoping that the NHL stands by its supposed January 11 “deadline” to get a deal with the NHLPA. As much as I would love to see a season, I am lockout-weary, so tired of watching to these two sides argue with their greedy hands out over what is—in many instances—our money. I just want this to end one way or another. In other words, as much as I would hate to lose yet another NHL season (by the way, who runs a business this way- pulling their only product off the shelves every few years for a year at a time? Unbelievable…) I don’t want two guys who have never held a hockey stick in their hands in their life hold the fans hostage any longer. Sign a deal by January 11, or cancel the season. If no deal, OK, it’s over. We all move on.
Then the owners and the PA can go nuclear—head to court and good luck to both sides in that brave new world. You will leave a lot of good and loyal fans behind.
For me, it’s reached a point where there is a new issue that seems to spring up every day in these negotiations. There is no end to the greed. The players who make millions and millions in their supposedly “short” careers (average career: 5 years, with an average salary of 2 and ½ million a year) evidently want more from the owners on their pensions. Instead, how about doing something for the old-time players who are in need? Those are the individuals who helped build the sport into what it is today. Teenage millionaires need to rely on big pensions, while olden-days players are stuck with relatively paltry sums? C'mon.
And then there is the hubris of the owners. The most recent example? The players don’t file their disclaimer interest or whatever it’s called, thus lifting that particular pressure point, and suddenly the owners’ stiffen and are not willing to barter quite so much. Give me a break. Does anyone trust those guys?
These sides truly deserve each other. Mistrust? No kidding. I wouldn’t let either side baby sit my kids.
It’s funny, eh? It’s obvious that both sides are actually so afraid to close this deal off. Whenever they seem to inch closer to a possible settlement, one side or the other throws something else into the hopper. It’s like they are both scared out of their minds that they will be perceived as having “lost” the deal, of having “capitulated”, they need to keep battling for one more thing, one more "must have". I guess pride really is the last thing to go before the fall.
The players union has done a masterful job of convincing fans they “lost” the last time (you know, the 24% rollback and all that), so they’ll be damned if they’re going to lose this time. Yet, while the owners supposedly won the battle and got what they ‘wanted” after the last lockout (cost certainty via a cap) we all know the players actually won that war in the long run.
Now, neither party wants to be seen to lose face. Forget that they’ve both already lost the respect of many fans.
But rather than yet more lockout talk, I desperately want to focus on an agreement and a new season that should be around the corner. But until we can talk about that in a really meaningful way, how about having a little "get something off our chest" discussion?
Here’s my question: it has been clear from the get go that certain broadcasters/commentators have an inside track to the owners’ side in the labour talks. Others are transparently and blatantly “pro player” in their commentary. It’s patently clear each "side" has their media supporters. Need I name names? There isn’t a whole lot of “journalism” here, mostly just reporters with agendas that reflect their own personal beliefs. (Gary Bettman is an easy whipping boy. Most reporters don’t dare take on any players, because hey, they will have to deal with those same players next week. Plus, a lot of these “analysts” are former players, and they won’t rock the PA boat, unless they are former players with guts- like Jeremy Roenick…)
But again, both sides have their obvious supporters, and that’s fine. It is the world of fun and games after all, a big sandbox that billionaires and millionaires (and yes, we fans in our own small way) play in.
But regardless of what side these reporters/commentators support in this never-ending CBA mess, I would like to hear from you: who has really driven you around the bend the past few weeks with their on-air commentary or Twitter talk? Whatever your own perspective (“pro player” or “pro owner”—don’t let that dictate your post here) on this simmering dispute, cite the analyst/TV “personality” that you can’t stand to hear one more word from—you know, the person that makes you flip the channel at this point, and not simply because you are fed up with hearing the mind-numbing lockout talk? (When, by the way, did reporters and fans have to become economists to understand hockey? What a shame. I can’t believe how many fans seem to be cap experts and worry about how much “their” team spends or doesn’t spend based on the “cap”. I know that’s a big part of the current NHL reality, and fans recognize how connected this is all, but wow. I preferred the old days when we didn’t have to assess players based on their cap hit….can we go back in time somehow?)
So there you have it: a totally off the wall question. Who can’t you listen to (besides me) a second longer about the lockout?
And by all means, if there is, in your view, a media voice of reason that has somehow emerged from this hockey (and broadcast) fiasco that you feel has done a classy job of setting his or her personal bias aside and has provided reliable, accurate, thorough, unbiased coverage on the lockout, share your thoughts on that, too.
The forum is open….