November 16 2012 12:19AM
Maybe that is Gary Bettman, maybe it is Donald Fehr, but either way they both
look like asses have their head in the sand right now.
The NHL and NHLPA are allegedly going to take a break from negotiating, further proving how BOTH sides are completely clueless on how much damage they are doing to the game. Even worse is that both of them, and sadly too many people on twitter, actually believe that the fans are on their side.
I can't speak for every fan, but most are at the point of despising both the NHL and NHLPA. How can you actually be on either side at this point, unless you are a player, related to a player, an owner or one of his employees? I can't see any reason to hitch your horse to either wagon.
Even worse is that the posturing, rhetoric and distrust have once again become the rallying cries for both sides.
The sad part is how many people are still trying to rationalize this lockout. I applaud you for trying, but let's be realistic neither side truly wants an agreement. If they actually wanted an agreement, rather than trying to get the other side to blink, it would have happened by now.
Some of you will say this is how negotiating works, but is it is actually working?
Earlier this evening both sides sent out a press release after numerous outlets reported that Gary Bettman suggested they take a two-week moratorium since they've made no progress during recent negotiations.
The NHLPA released the following statement:
"We believe that it is more likely that we will make progress if we meet than if we don't. So we are ready to meet. If indeed they do not want to meet, it will be at least the third time in the last three months that they have shut down the dialogue, saying they will not meet unless the players meet their preconditions.
"What does that tell you about their interest in resolving this," said NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr.
The NHL, of course, needed to respond.
"We are extremely disappointed in where we and the players find ourselves. And from our perspective, we have made repeated moves in the players' direction with absolutely no reciprocation. Unfortunately, we have determined we are involved with union leadership that has no genuine interest in reaching an agreement. Regardless of what we propose, or how we suggest to compromise the answer is "no." At some point you just have to say "enough is enough," said deputy commissioner Bill Daly.
HERE WE GO AGAIN
This is like a bad TV show; essentially the same story line every week. Both sides suggest the other one isn't interested in getting a deal done, however, both try to convince hockey fans that they "really care about the game" and just want to play.
It's becoming nothing short of a lame and pointless dick measuring contest. Except both of them have two inch rulers, so neither proposal is that enticing or measured with any accuracy.
I think most of us can predict what will happen in the coming days.
Sometime next week, likely Wednesday or Thursday the NHL will cancel another two-week block of games. The NHLPA will reiterate that no games needed to be cancelled, because they were willing to play and negotiate in good faith during the season.
Then, sometime before the proposed two-week break is over they will agree to meet and start another mundane and unproductive round of negotiating.
WHAT THEY NEED
Outside of a well-placed kick in the ass, they need a firm deadline on when the season will be cancelled. Both sides believe the other will blink first, so maybe a deadline ignites some serious negotiations, or maybe their inability to notice the incredible damage they've done to the game continues.
Either way, at least the fans can have some closure for the 2012/2013 season.
WHAT SAY YOU?
- Is it just me or is the most infuriating aspect of this lockout the fact that they are fighting over money, yet they are losing millions every day. This is likely too simplistic of math, but if we say the season is 186 days long, 60 days for the playoffs and 14 for preseason that equals 260 days.
If we divide $3.3 billion by 260 days that means they are losing $12,269,307.00 a day. Multiples that by 53 days (I subtracted 9 days of the actual 62 days since lockout started because preseason wouldn't have begun until Sept 24th) and they've thrown away $672,692,307.00 of revenue.
It must be nice to be able to walk away from almost $673 million.
- Would fans be willing to ask for their season-ticket money back? Some teams have refunded the money, but many teams are holding it until the lockout is resolved. Would you ask for your money back, or have teams informed you that you would lose your tickets for good if you asked for a refund?
- If that is the case, would fans on the waiting list gobble them up right away? Would you?
- Will you rush back the minute the lockout ends? Will you cut back on the amount of games you go to, games you watch or merchandise you purchase?
- Is it realistic to expect fans to stay away, or is the game to addicting?
- Could you stay away if the Oilers made the playoffs?
At this point I'm not angry, but I'm disappointed that the NHL and NHLPA have shown there is a major gap between them and their fans and even sponsors. While they will tell you different, their actions clearly prove they believe their product is so strong it can withstand another lengthy lockout.
I honestly don't know if they are correct or delusional, but I sense fans and sponsors won't be flocking back as quickly or as happily as they did in 2005.