December 06 2012 09:26PM
With all the optimism coming out of negotiations in New York Wednesday, fans riding the roller-coaster they've been on during the NHL lockout felt they might actually get to watch a game this season.
That latest bit of positivity about the possibility of a new CBA lasted, what, about 24 hours until the whole damn thing came off the rails again today with Donald Fehr and Gary Bettman back at the controls?
Fans, it goes without saying, aren't impressed. Understandably so. And, if you believe reports trickling out in the aftermath of the upside-down-and-on-fire bit we just witnessed, neither are some members of the NHLPA.
If the players were as optimistic as many fans, and if a significant percentage of the NHLPA membership was ready to get back to work -- as one might conclude by sifting through the Twitterverse -- I'm wondering if we might soon see cracks in the unified front Fehr is trying to portray. I'm guessing yes.
READY TO PLAY?
These tweets from veteran Denver Post reporter Adrian Dater:
From deep inside players side: "We were ready to play again. But Don came in (Wed.) and told us we could get more and to hold out"
That deep-inside-players quote came from depth player. They want to play, but top players still in Fehr camp. Could explode soon
That depth player was not on the Avalanche, FYI. That's all I have on this
Fehr did not hold a player-wide conference call in saying that, important to note. Came from top down, trickle-down
Bottom line here: Players say they are unified, but not what I'm hearing from this depth player. They'll deny that publicly, but...
....privately, they are feeling powerless as the Ryan Millers and Brad Richards of the world pretend this is a sacrifice for them
This depth player is wicked smart though. May put his name to comments soon. Sorry for anonymous tilt to this. not my style
THE LITTLE GUYS
I'm not suggesting that Dater speaking to one player represents the stance of the majority of NHLPA members – it might, but we have no way of knowing for sure -- but I'm willing to bet the sentiment Dater passes along is growing, and likely by the minute.
How long until we see the unified front Fehr portrays start to crumble? How long until more players let their feelings be known? Specifically, the majority of NHLPA members, the players not named Sidney Crosby or Alex Ovechkin who occupy the bottom 15 spots on NHL rosters.
Simple math tells us there's a lot more of those players than the marquee guys acting as window dressing alongside Fehr and, for now, driving the bus. Framed that way, I take back what I just said about there not being a way for us to know for sure what the players think. There is, of course.
It's called a vote.
Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.