NHL AND NHLPA: OUT OF TOUCH

Jason Gregor
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.

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#51 Westcoastoil
November 16 2012, 12:09PM
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From the NHL/NHLPA perspective, they don't care if you are angry. If you are angry you care and thus are still a fan and will be back at some point. They should care if you're apathetic, in which case you aren't visiting ON 2 months into this nonsense. I think they are grossly overestimating people's tollerance and willingness to spend their money and time elsewhere.

Personally I'm jacked for all the extra $ I have for skiing this year.

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#52 Oiler Country
November 16 2012, 12:17PM
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I can't write anything except to echo what mostly everyone has already wrote. What we cna do as fans is to stop buying merchandise, stop buying player supported hockey gear. Show your social networking voice and for instance, like twitter, unfollow all players associated with the NHLPA and all NHL teams. Explain to Hall, Gagner, Paajarvi, Whitney, Jones and Eberle it's not them you are mad at it's by their association with the NHLPA is the reason for your actions of not supporting them. Drop your support for your teams by unfollowing (on twitter) and unliking (facebook.

Once the lockout ends, do what you want, but I'd be willing to bet you wouldn't be so quick to throw your support behind the team like you once did.

You want problems? ...I have a huge problem.. I have the oilers logo and Oiler Country as my online name. If I am to do what I say, I will have to start a whole new online identity.

GASP!! ...time to figure a strategy..

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#53 Gaylord Meatface
November 16 2012, 12:18PM
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I think the 3rd party, namely us the fans, need to somehow be heard.

How?

The only thing that will make them react is money.

Gregor, what companies advertise with or have contacts with the NHL?

Somehow we have to let it be know to:

1) Stop buying all Molson/Coors products 2) Refrain from watching any CBC shows 3) Refrain from watching NBC or companies owned by NBC 4) etc etc.

If you put the revenue stream in the cross hairs they will have to react.

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#54 Ryan14
November 16 2012, 12:35PM
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This lockout won't effect the games I attend or watch at home. They won't see a dime from me in terms of merchandising however. My f you to these guys is buying from less than reputable sources.

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#55 Oiler Al
November 16 2012, 01:04PM
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Both groups dont really believe that the fans will do anything drastic, otherwise they would have made a move on this ages ago.They know we will be back.. and we will you all know that.

I think the media for what its worth should just stop reporting on this lockout 100%. Dont give them any press, besides its the same boring stuff that you guys have had to print for weeks now... so why bother.. there is no news. Besides I cant stand looking at these two mugs any longer. As you said Jason its my 2 inches are longer than your 2 inches {Gary] Its the battle of egos, loosing millions of dollars. And, these are suppose to be educated men.. sounds like idiots, to me,keep saying no. Any fool can come up with that answer.

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#56 Draiken
November 16 2012, 01:04PM
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I guess it's a good thing that these guys are making so much money now, as a collective, that they have no idea how to share it amongst themselves, but come on if either side really wanted a resolution to this problem wouldn't they just hire an arbitrator?

It's not like it would kill the league to take 48% and it's not like it would kill the players to take 52 or 53 or 49 either. This is about digging your heels in the sand because you think you've been slighted by the other side.

Makes me feel like I'm on the playground again.

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#57 The measurer
November 16 2012, 01:13PM
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"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 disagree - I think all parties involved in this mess could be accurate to the 1/32 of an inch with a 2-inch ruler. They certainly have no balls, so small dicks seem a given.

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#58 BigDawg
November 16 2012, 01:35PM
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This lockout is friggin gross.. I am so sick of hearing about it.. both sides are to blame here but.. ill tell you what.. I will gladly play for a million bucks and put up with the "unfairness" and being treated "badly". Gimme a effin break.. your getting paid plenty.. And for the owners.. control your spending already.. I think the roll back is a joke but in the same breath.. The players also need a reality check.. I have 2 jobs mortgage, 2 cars, 2 kids and a wife... like i said.. id love to play for a million a yr.. Why dont they just go off the last CBA and tweek it??!! Last i saw or ever heard.. An NHL player wasnt stressed over paying bills.. When the NHL comes back i will still follow.. but as for paying for NHL stuff... i may be done for awhile..

Well back to REAL work...

Peace

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#59 oilfan in yyc
November 16 2012, 01:42PM
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I continue to read ON because I hope you are also able to survive this asinine lockout. Having said that, I believe all media outlets need to stop reporting on it, quit sending reporters to grab the same sound bites from Bettman and Fehr, and quit publishing their press releases. They need to be completely ignored.

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#60 @Oilanderp
November 16 2012, 02:26PM
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How 'bout some perspective on this:

http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/2012/11/16/principe_nhl_one_last_game/

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#61 The Soup Fascist
November 16 2012, 02:58PM
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@Oilanderp wrote:

How 'bout some perspective on this:

http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/2012/11/16/principe_nhl_one_last_game/

How dare you bring perspective, empathy, compassion and real life lessons into this discussion, Oilanderp!

Don't you know this is about millionaires, billionaires, greed and egos?

Geez, some guys just don't get it.

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#62 Quicksilver ballet
November 16 2012, 03:17PM
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Once the poison enters the bloodstream, rehabilitation is highly unlikely.

This lockout is just a necessary part of the business. When things do return....you best stay away from my spot on the couch you bastages.

My 2 cents, not sure if it's the norm amongst us hoser types.

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#63 Chris
November 16 2012, 03:32PM
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Interesting comparison to 'the real world'. Hostess had 3 billion+ profits.

Hostess shuts down

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#64 Mike Krushelnyski
November 16 2012, 03:49PM
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If we do have a season this year, I hope fans across the league can organize and agree that everybody skips their team's home opener. Watching teams put on their opening night spectacles and player introductions to totally empty buildings would be a wonderful little f**k you to the league and the players after the massive f**k you they've given the fans.

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#65 Tcuvelier
November 16 2012, 03:51PM
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My personal solution to this annoying situation is very simple. For every game that I miss this year I have promised myself that I will not attend, watch or buy anything for that same amount of games when they decide we are allowed to watch our favorite sport again. It's unrealistic for me to give up on this sport that I love so much for good and I'm sure I'll still read about everything and follow these blogs but after the last lockout I feel massively disrespected to have to go through this again. Imagine the fear and pressure if an idea like this was to spread!

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#66 OilerLand
November 16 2012, 04:07PM
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If I had season tickets, I would cancel them immediately and buy a massive TV to watch the games on instead.

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#67 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
November 16 2012, 05:44PM
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OilerLand wrote:

If I had season tickets, I would cancel them immediately and buy a massive TV to watch the games on instead.

and there would be a huge line up of people behind you waiting to pounce on your seats.

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#68 Truth
November 16 2012, 06:13PM
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@Jason Gregor

Now that Peckham has been released from San Fransisco (on his own accord by all accounts), any chance you can get him for a follow up interview as to the reasoning? All of that talk of him getting and staying in game shape sure didn't last long .

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#69 LoDog
November 16 2012, 06:27PM
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The league is tired of negotiating against itself, it is really as simple as that as far as the moratorium on talks.

I don't know how anyone can side with the players on this. The NHL is actually trying to put in a system that makes all teams viable and the players just want guaranted money until the end of time.

The players do themselves no favours with their comments. They come off as the uneducated man children that they are. I mean Jamal Mayers thought moratorium was some big fancy word and couldn't even pronouce it yet he thinks he knows how business works.

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#70 Gret99zky
November 16 2012, 09:54PM
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I don't really miss the NHL or care either way how this all turns out.

I drop by here at least twice a week to read all the posts from people who promise to swear off hockey once it returns. It proves more entertaining than any Oiler game I've gone to in the last 3 years.

To promise yourself not to go to the games or watch them on TV when they return is the same as pacing outside your local convenience store before it opens promising yourself that this will be the last pack of smokes you will ever buy because you've really had a chance to think it over by waiting. Not very convincing.

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#71 Slyers
November 16 2012, 10:48PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Interesting take. So you think the NHL was fine to continually overpay players, when they didn't have to, and then give an extremely low-ball offer to start the negotiations.

And they aren't on the ice right now, so you should care, no?

Jason, do you expect the hockey players playing in the Stanley cup playoffs to play by the rules. No, you know and expect those players will do anything to win both within the rules and even outside the rules. Then why would anyone expect the GM'S and owners not to compete just as hard in the only why they can, by using money and even loop holes to try an assemble a winner. It's funny for years before the first lockout players and fans would always refer to the teams that would throw money around as having "ownership committed to winning". The fans, agents and player but these people in no win situations. The CBA negotiations is really the only time when the owner can realistically and legally, reign in their collective spending habits and say no mas to the players. And we can see how we'll that has been received.

P.s thanks for being one of the few media for asking tough questions, or pointing out how ludicrous the players logic has been. You have even given your buddy Struds some trouble, well done. I realize you are a little more neutral than I but maybe I can pull you over to the dark side.

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#72 DonDon
November 16 2012, 11:31PM
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Stop me if you have heard this before.

US and Canadian federal courts rule that the obstinate and greedy NHL owners have broken anti-trust rules.

Henceforth, there is no requirement for the NHLPA and consequently it disappears and the CBA has no legality.

No salary cap, maximum or minimum. No entry level draft of amateur players. All players are free agents. No entry level contracts. No guaranteed contracts. No rules.

Players agents can negotiate as they like with gullible GMs and owners. The rich NHL owners can afford to attract the emerging stars, just as they have before, and always place their franchises in a winning position. The less than rich owners will lose their stars and operate as though their franchises are on a similar to that of the AHL, as before.

Fans of rich owners win, fans of poorer owners lose. Players win because rich owners will pay players whatever they need to win.

For Oilers fans, does this sound familiar to the 1990s?

Fries with that Steve?

Classic Win Win for some, Lose Lose for others. And the rich owners provide Bettman with a huge bonus. Priceless, if you aren't an Oilers' fan!

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#73 Milli
November 17 2012, 09:36AM
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Here are my plans, and I am a die hard fan. We are heading to OKc for a game and then to Houston for a Texans game. I know that Okc is an Oilers product, but oh well. I made a decision not to buy cancelation insurance because I will not drive to Edmonton, I will not drink alot of Herion beer at Rexaal. Not this year, no matter what. And, the price for Air, Hotel and barons tix you ask. Try this on, less than $600.

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#74 Chiefs Fan
November 17 2012, 11:03AM
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I hope the NHL gives one final proposal on Monday morning, a take it or leave it proposal that expires on Friday. Saturday morning they are either scheduling games or the season is cancelled. Done. At least this way we can all move on.

If there is no hockey the NHL tables the same offer on June 1st less 5% that expires in one week. The deal is signed or the seasn is cancelled. We can fish, golf, go camping, basically enjoy our summer without the drama being played out day after day

I would love to see the players crawl back on their hands and knees begging for anything that resembles the previous offers. I don't feel one ounce of sympathy for these guys. You know what they call making 2 million dollars in a year? Lotto 649. These guys basically win the lottery every year and it's not enough. Let them miss another year, let them miss 2 years, whatever it takes to put these self-entitled spoiled brats in their place once and for all.

One more thought that I somebody brought up on another site. Isn't it ironic that the players previous missed a full year to fight a CBA that they are now fighting to hold onto?

Idiots !!!!!!

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#75 toprightcorner
November 17 2012, 12:39PM
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The lock out could be ended within a week.

NHL offers that the minimum salary be increased to $1 million per year and that contract length would be based on the average annual salary. The higher the cap hit, the lower the years. Or a maximum of a total contract can be $25 million.

Tell them the offer is to benefit the players who are more likely to have shorter careers and have been hurt the most from the lost income.

Everything else stays the same as the NHL's current proposal.

Other condition is that this offer must be voted on by all members of the NHLPA.

If this happened, we would be playing hockey again by Dec 15th.

This would also reduce the huge gaps in salaries between players.

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#76 Slyers
November 18 2012, 02:06AM
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Chiefs Fan wrote:

I hope the NHL gives one final proposal on Monday morning, a take it or leave it proposal that expires on Friday. Saturday morning they are either scheduling games or the season is cancelled. Done. At least this way we can all move on.

If there is no hockey the NHL tables the same offer on June 1st less 5% that expires in one week. The deal is signed or the seasn is cancelled. We can fish, golf, go camping, basically enjoy our summer without the drama being played out day after day

I would love to see the players crawl back on their hands and knees begging for anything that resembles the previous offers. I don't feel one ounce of sympathy for these guys. You know what they call making 2 million dollars in a year? Lotto 649. These guys basically win the lottery every year and it's not enough. Let them miss another year, let them miss 2 years, whatever it takes to put these self-entitled spoiled brats in their place once and for all.

One more thought that I somebody brought up on another site. Isn't it ironic that the players previous missed a full year to fight a CBA that they are now fighting to hold onto?

Idiots !!!!!!

Exactly, wow love your last point! Standing O

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