THESE ARE THE DAYS OF OUR NHL

Jason Gregor
December 07 2012 01:16PM

The lockout has become equivalent to watching a soap opera. Try as you might, you just can't turn away, and this week they likely sucked you back into their web of lies, deceit and unpredictability. I might have watched Days of our Lives when I was 19, mainly because of Jennifer, Carrie and Hope, but I also found myself getting sucked into their ridiculous story lines. I was amazed at how they could drag out one story line for months at a time. Sound familiar?

You didn't have to watch the show daily to keep abreast of all the glorious backstabbing, love triangles and endless cheesiness, and that is exactly what the NHL lockout has become.

It is a guy's soap opera.

Yesterday's performance by Donald Fehr and Gary Bettman might have been their best work ever.

Fehr was the perfect villain. With the players flanked behind him like loyal soldiers, Fehr spoke calmly, yet confidently and managed to convince those who were watching that a deal was imminent.

Numerous times he mentioned the NHLPA believed that they had an agreement on various touchy issues, like "make whole." He had many fans and media members convinced a deal was close. His words caught most off-guard, because they expected him to come to the podium and rip the NHL. He did no such thing.

You can't be a great villian in a soap opera without possessing the ability to convince people that your words are factual.

Fehr was brilliant.

He ended his first press conference by reiterating how close both sides were to a deal. When he walked away from the microphone you likely thought a deal would be brokered last night.

What happened next would have earned Fehr a nomination in the Daytime Emmy awards for outstanding lead actor in a drama series.

He walked away from the makeshift podium, with his players in unison behind him. The media rushed to interview the players, but within minutes they were being ushered back onto the stage. And now Fehr was once again in front of the microphone.

This was one of the best plot shifts I've seen in any drama series.

I was on air at the time, and watching it unfold on TV and on twitter was surreal. "What does this evil genius have up his sleeve," I said to myself. As you all know watching a soap opera alone and talking to the characters is a must.

And then Fehr dropped the hammer.

He informed the media and those watching at home that the league had rejected their offer, and then he uttered one of his more common lines, “It looks like this is not going to be resolved in the immediate future.”

"Shut the front door," said no one because it is the worst line in the history of commercials, but within minutes Fehr had taken your stomach on a devastating rollercoaster ride. I swear I heard some of the media sobbing, but that might have just been pumped in sound to make it better television.

EIther way it was awesome.

Fehr babbled on for another few minutes and said, "Previously we didn’t think we were nearly as far apart as the owners did, but I think it’s clear now after the positions the players took today that there doesn’t seem to be much room, certainly not unbridgeable room.”

It was the most disingenuous press conference I've ever seen. It fit perfectly with this soap opera script that has become the NHL. The twitterverse exploded with the majority of fans blaming the NHL.

Fehr's plan had worked, or had it?

KNOW WHEN TO LEAVE

He should have just walked off the podium after his opening line of his encore performance, but he didn't.  He spoke for another five minutes, and none of his comments grabbed at you like that opening line,  and then he and the players left. Fans were stunned, some of them tweeted words they'd regret later, the media in attention were speechless, albeit for only seconds, but that's an eternity in a room of ink-stained wretches and talking heads. (Terms of endearment)

The only mistake NHL productions made was not ending the day with the Fehr cliffhanger. Could you imagine how crazy of a night it would have been if you had to wait until this afternoon to hear from Bettman. Of course the NHL isn't great at dragging out things, so I'm sure that never crossed their mind.

Within 45 minutes Bettman and Bill Daly arrived at the podium.

This was a tense moment. I turned up the TV to ensure I wouldn't miss one freakin syllable that emerged from the Count's mouth.

The usually stoic and composed Bettman was visibly rattled. He didn't hide his feelings, but instead he spoke with genuine emotion. He was almost trembling at times as he proceeded to blast Fehr for the next 26 minutes and 43 seconds. Yes Bettman and Daly spend almost 27 minutes expressing their frustration. And no one could take their eyes off of Bettman. This was his defining moment of the lockout. In those 27 minutes he managed to actually retrieve some sympathy for the hearts of fans.

You know you felt it. You know that for those 1600 seconds the man who has overseen three lockouts in the past 18 years, the man you despise, the man you think is ruining your game, got to you.

What a brilliant performance.

“That reminds me of the last time the players the players said we were close, and we were a billion dollars apart,” he fumed. “I don’t know why he (Fehr) did that … I find it almost incomprehensible that he did that."

Bettman exhaled and refocused. "I am disappointed beyond belief that we are where we are tonight, and we’re going to have to take a deep breath and try to regroup."

He stayed on the podium until the media had no more questions. Never in the history of his tenure has Bettman outlasted the media's questions. Maybe he teamed up with @nhlpodium to win over the hearts of fans. Maybe last night Bettman used the Podium to earn your trust, and yesterday he used that to gain your sympathy.

What was even more perplexing was near the end of his marathon podium appearance he uttered words I thought I'd never hear.

"We could have more franchises in jeopardy if we make the wrong deal," he said. He actually admitted that some NHL franchises are in jeopardy.

Soap operas couldn't have written a better script. Bettman suggesting that his league wasn't in perfect harmony? Are you freaking kidding me? I still don't believe he uttered those words.

When Bettman took to the podium most believed he couldn't possibly match Fehr. But boy were we wrong. He was intense, almost human-like and not only did he put the momentum back in the owner's pockets, he also stole Fehr's outstanding lead actor in a drama series award.

When he was done it wasn't close in the eyes of some fans. These are just a few of the tweets I received after his award-winning performance.

At the end of the day, I think he's endeared himself to Canadian hockey fans today, Fehr did not.

: I think Gary actually cares about the game. Can't say the same for Fehr at all

I liked the passion and fight he showed. Players gonna regret it.

Never been a huge Bettmen guy but he made a ton of good points and killed it in that presser. Made Fehr look really bad

Clearly, you can never Count... Gary out. (That was for you, Gene Principe)

WHAT NOW?

Honestly, with this soap opera it is impossible to know. It is safe to say that Bettman will cancel games up to the end of December very soon. The NHL loves to make these announcements on Fridays so it could happen today. You haven't seen the final offer either. All I know is that we are 36 days from the unofficial deadline of January 11th. Bettman wouldn't give a set "drop dead" date when he was asked about one, but he did say, ""We played 48 games in 1995. I can't imagine wanting to play fewer than that." 

I thought Scottie Upshall's tweet was very telling.

There's no pressure yet on the owners to lose this year, that's why they still treat us like Cattle. They'll need a partner come January.

The NHLPA still believes the NHL will come back with a better offer. We'll see.

All I know is that this lockout has become the sportsfan's soap opera. As painful and as predictable as it is, we can't look away.

DAY FIVE

Yesterday we raised another $1,900 for the Santas Anonymous. Big thanks to Jason for his generous bid on the Rush VIP  Package.

Today's package includes...

  • A signed Ryan Nugent-Hopkins blue and orange jersey.
  • The jersey will be framed courtesy of proamsports.ca
  • A party for 10 at the Pint.
  • A pair of gold seats to Oilers game in 2013.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR

 

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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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#1 mr_nihilism
December 07 2012, 01:28PM
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Blow it up in glorious manner. Start from scratch.

I know that won't happen of course. But it's pretty much how I feel about it these days.

Edit: Oh, and FIST

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#2 Johe
December 07 2012, 01:51PM
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LOVED Gary's passion yesterday. Clearly he does care about the game, because he's been involved with it for decades now. Fehr on the other hand? Please.

The NHL is in trouble unless owners get the deal they want. It's that simple. I mean, half the teams are losing money every year, yet player salaries continue climbing. And the players talk about how much they gave in the last CBA negotiations. Get real! Your salaries have doubled!

I've been pro-owner this entire time, and now more so than ever. Just reading some of the comments from players on their twitter accounts makes me sick: spoiled millionaires with a sense of entitlement that is frankly disturbing. Just so out of touch with reality. That's not to say owners aren't greedy. They are. But guess what? The players ARE cattle. The owners are your boss. And you do what they say. That's life. And believe me, if my boss said he would pay me only 3.75 million a year to play hockey, a sport which I profess to love, instead of 4 million a year, I would still be kissing the soles of his shoes. But no. Players show themselves completely ungrateful. They don't care about the game. If they did, they would take the deal and hopefully the league would continue to get healthier. Right now, I don't know what the players want. They're going to lose the whole season, which means more lost money than if they took a reduced salary. I don't get it at all. But regardless, go owners. Maybe once the season is gone things will start to sink in.

Sorry for the rant. Needed to get that off my chest.

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#3 Rob...
December 07 2012, 02:11PM
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I have no love for either side any more, but Fehr's tactics made me 'hate' the player side. That was the douche-bag move of someone who would give a fake winning lotto ticket to a homeless guy.

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#4 laughing pug
December 07 2012, 02:22PM
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it sucks so much

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#5 B S
December 07 2012, 04:28PM
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nunyour wrote:

why does it matter how much the owners are making? the players are all payed very well,but want more yet,it's called greed.i say bring in replacement players.

The players have NEVER asked for more money during these negotiations. The argument has always been about how much less money the players should be making.

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#6 The Beaker
December 07 2012, 06:04PM
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@nunyour

Owners making a bunch of money would never try and make more money??

And making a bunch of money vs cutting even or even losing a little are different things. People buy failing businesses all the time because there is opportunity there. Again, one team does not = 20 failing teams.

Dude you are just making stuff up now. All I'm saying if you don't know 100% then don't say things as if you do. The problem here is people but into PR which is by it's nature made to create a certain appearance which suits someone needs, it's not the same thing as the absolute (edit: autocorrect) truth.

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#7 B S
December 07 2012, 06:05PM
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@nunyour

or in this case the truth.

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#8 They're $hittie
December 07 2012, 01:28PM
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Put two proposals out, one buy the NHL and one buy the NHLPA, and let the fans vote.

Gary should put the original 57 - 43 split back on the table (in favour of the owners) and no make whole, with all the contract limits and say take it or we cancel. Bold move, but it would be interesting.

Is anyone still on the players side. And I Dont mean people who are closely linked to one player. I have a cousin who is a very substantial Canadian hockey player. I have never met him but other family members have, but I still think he is extremely well paid, and still do not see their side of things.

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#9 The Beaker
December 07 2012, 01:42PM
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They're $hittie wrote:

Put two proposals out, one buy the NHL and one buy the NHLPA, and let the fans vote.

Gary should put the original 57 - 43 split back on the table (in favour of the owners) and no make whole, with all the contract limits and say take it or we cancel. Bold move, but it would be interesting.

Is anyone still on the players side. And I Dont mean people who are closely linked to one player. I have a cousin who is a very substantial Canadian hockey player. I have never met him but other family members have, but I still think he is extremely well paid, and still do not see their side of things.

if it was for 1 year maybe. the point is that the players (and the league) are trying to create long term sustainability. saying take it or we cancel just means its canceled and that wouldnt be the players fault.

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#10 Thesource
December 07 2012, 01:47PM
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Yes. I went mentally from 65 owners 35 players support to hoping Gary sees Upshall serving his fries some day. Maybe I'm a bit of a sucker emotionally in this respect, but why not I'm allowed.

Thanks Jason. Good read.

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#11 B S
December 07 2012, 01:48PM
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J.G., What were the proposals? (you know, the actual point of these negotiations) as, from what I've heard, the NHL and NHLPA really weren't that far apart.

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#12 They're $hittie
December 07 2012, 01:48PM
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@The Beaker

hey I agree, but it is not even about faithful negotiations anymore. All signs and information from last night, whether you call it a credible source or not points to the top end players and Fehr, pushing for more after an agreement was implied.

Saying it would be an interesting game for Bettman to play.

If he did that it could go two ways. The players who dont have their voice heard either unite, or they demand the agreement last night be brought back and ratified.

One thing is. This mess would all be over in a week. Season canceled or not.

Also, if the players decertify the owners should defranchise and incorporate, with each of them holding shares based on their teams values. Bettman becomes CEO and tell team directors (former owners) what the spending limit is.

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#13 Sliderule
December 07 2012, 01:49PM
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Bettman finally admitted that the NHL business model is broken.

Will a 50/50 spit in revenue and a change in contract terms save it?

I think it might buy them a few years but changes are a coming for border line players.

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#14 Kaiser Wilhelm
December 07 2012, 01:50PM
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I promised myself I wouldn't get sucked into caring again. Guess I spoke too soon: I completely bought the vibes. The only thing which was good about last night is, we can now tell Gary actually cares about hockey.

I still think we need a new WHA.

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#15 mayorblaine
December 07 2012, 02:10PM
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neither party is without its warts, but seriously i'm really starting to like Bettman. was indifferent about him before, now i kinda like his resolve.

and Daly as well. smart fella.

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#16 Gitagrip
December 07 2012, 02:12PM
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So, the players want to dictate the terms of their surrender. Hahahahahahahah!!!!!! The owners were hating themselves for budging from the last offer, only to have Don and his 5% henchmen attempt to enlarge the slice of pie they were given. My mom always said don't bite the hand that feeds you. Wake up players. This is about the health of the indusrty and jobs in the future, not what your wife wants to spend next year. Good Grief!

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#17 DuLock
December 07 2012, 02:14PM
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I'm glad to finally see comments about what owners are making and franchises being in trouble. I hate how every media outlet portrays revenue (every dollar in before expenses) as earnings (dollars in minus dollars out). We have between 10-20 teams losing money. If there is no possibility of making money, these franchises are basically charities that mostly benefit hockey players and a small. fanbase.

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#18 Pajamah
December 07 2012, 02:28PM
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My tweet made a Gregor article!!!

This is the second happiest I've ever been since Wanye asked for my hand in marriage (I can prove it, thanks Twitter)

My other comment was that Bettman was "refreshingly insane".

Completely agree JG, Bettman did a great job of getting the viewing public to both sympathize with the owners, and humanize himself (which will help his horribly tarnished reputation, albeit only slightly)

Great article

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#19 The Beaker
December 07 2012, 02:37PM
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How does Gary showing passion last night mean he cares about the game? I can get upset about someone not playing monopoly the way I see fit but in the end not give a crap about park place. He may care about the game or he may not but the emotion last night doesn't prove he does.

People just love the owners so much lately they force themselves into believing the oddest things.

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#20 The Beaker
December 07 2012, 02:39PM
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DuLock wrote:

I'm glad to finally see comments about what owners are making and franchises being in trouble. I hate how every media outlet portrays revenue (every dollar in before expenses) as earnings (dollars in minus dollars out). We have between 10-20 teams losing money. If there is no possibility of making money, these franchises are basically charities that mostly benefit hockey players and a small. fanbase.

I don't think that's even remotely true. But both me and you don't know for sure because we aren't forensic auditors with the books open in front of us.

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#21 Old Time Hockey
December 07 2012, 02:41PM
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The players can go &$%# themselves. But as fans if we go to games after this is all over, we'll all inadvertently be supporting them. Now I want the owners to bust the union and tell them, if the want to play in the NHL, they'll play with no penssion, no benefits, no extras.

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#22 Gdubblu
December 07 2012, 02:45PM
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Haven't cared for the repetitive drama, although they teased me back in for a short while this week. We were talking NFL football in the locker room after sundays hockey game...so that shows the sad direction of the league.

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#23 Pajamah
December 07 2012, 02:45PM
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The Beaker wrote:

How does Gary showing passion last night mean he cares about the game? I can get upset about someone not playing monopoly the way I see fit but in the end not give a crap about park place. He may care about the game or he may not but the emotion last night doesn't prove he does.

People just love the owners so much lately they force themselves into believing the oddest things.

Sure it does

How many things that you geniunely don't care about get you fired up?

I'm not a car guy, if someone keys my car and smashes my windows, big deal.

Lay a hand on my kids, and I'll flip my lid.

Passion without caring comes off as disingenuous. Bettman certainly didn't come off disingenuous.

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#24 westcoastoil
December 07 2012, 02:49PM
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@Gregor - Your caption "Know When To Leave" and a picture of "I'm Done" was what I needed to see, thank you. I'm serious I really appreciate it.

I have just read my last blog/story article about the lockout. I don't care anymore when/if/how they start playing.

I'll enjoy following the kids in OKC & WJs. I've officially lost interest in the NHL until the actual resume play...and who knows how I'll feel then.

Now I'm going to enjoy skiing and spending more time with friends and family!

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#25 Rogue
December 07 2012, 02:55PM
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Scottie Upshall needs some brain matter. All employees are meat, whether you are a NHL player or you work for Walmart. If you own the business, you have the risk, not the employee. The average NHL player must rank as one of the most uneducated athlete out there. Good Grief.

Oh, and Fehr really screwed the pooch,last night. Looks good on him.

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#26 B S
December 07 2012, 02:58PM
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Pajamah wrote:

Sure it does

How many things that you geniunely don't care about get you fired up?

I'm not a car guy, if someone keys my car and smashes my windows, big deal.

Lay a hand on my kids, and I'll flip my lid.

Passion without caring comes off as disingenuous. Bettman certainly didn't come off disingenuous.

But does Gary care about hockey, or "winning" the negotiations? To go back to Beaker's comment, Beaker may not care about Park Place, but he probably cares about fair play (as long as it helps him win) and that's where his passion comes from. Most of the time people get upset over board games its because they don't think it's being played fairly (whatever "fair" happens to be). Bettman MIGHT not give a damn about hockey, but it's been clear over the years he likes "winning" his negotiations. He's finally come up against an opponent he can't push around and I think that's what is frustrating the hell out of him.

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#27 DuLock
December 07 2012, 03:04PM
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The Beaker wrote:

I don't think that's even remotely true. But both me and you don't know for sure because we aren't forensic auditors with the books open in front of us.

Do you think the NHLPA would let the NHL get away with saying there were teams losing money if it weren't? Remember, the NHLPA was given the financial statements of all 30 teams. If every team was rolling in money, they'd know. I stand by my statement that 10-20 are losing money.

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#28 nunyour
December 07 2012, 03:10PM
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why does it matter how much the owners are making? the players are all payed very well,but want more yet,it's called greed.i say bring in replacement players.

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#29 Rama Lama
December 07 2012, 03:14PM
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No deal.......surprise surprise! The NHLPA I will only make a deal when the season is on the line, with a deadline date cast in stone.

Fear is brilliant in hearding his dysfunctional cast of privileged players into saying the same thing.........but things are about to change. I'm sure more players are starting to think Roman Hamarlik was right along, you can't expect the deal to keep getting better with half the season gone.

No common sense in the NHLPA........these guys live in a parallel universe.

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#30 Evilas
December 07 2012, 03:45PM
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It boggles my mind how these brain-washed players continue to blindly follow Fehr and the NHL Fatcat players who make all the money. Fehr with his baseball background doesn't give a hoot about the game, he only cares about fattening the wallets of the stars. He could care less if franchises go down, he doesn't care about the health of the league. He is the blind guardian leading his blind disciples. Short term gain for long-term pain....I would hope the majority of the NHLPA membership would start to extert some influence, because as we all know they have the most to lose.

The owners set the table at which the players have been invited to eat. But they don't prepare the meals, pay for the food or wash the dishes, they just show up to fill their faces and maybe stuff their pockets when they leave the table.

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#31 The Beaker
December 07 2012, 04:15PM
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DuLock wrote:

Do you think the NHLPA would let the NHL get away with saying there were teams losing money if it weren't? Remember, the NHLPA was given the financial statements of all 30 teams. If every team was rolling in money, they'd know. I stand by my statement that 10-20 are losing money.

No, but as far as I know 100% of the books were never disclosed (never mind things like books of parent companies etc). Plus I think even the NHLPA knows they would look terrible if they started going on and on about "well really the teams are doing better then they really say and not be able to prove it to the public. I'm not saying what you are saying isn't true I'm just saying you can't know that and taking the NHLs word for it is just silly. I don't trust either side but people seem awfully willing to take one side at face value over the other which is nuts.

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#32 nunyour
December 07 2012, 04:25PM
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The Beaker wrote:

No, but as far as I know 100% of the books were never disclosed (never mind things like books of parent companies etc). Plus I think even the NHLPA knows they would look terrible if they started going on and on about "well really the teams are doing better then they really say and not be able to prove it to the public. I'm not saying what you are saying isn't true I'm just saying you can't know that and taking the NHLs word for it is just silly. I don't trust either side but people seem awfully willing to take one side at face value over the other which is nuts.

when a team is for sale and there are no takers,that is a pretty clear indication that it does not make money.

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#33 The Beaker
December 07 2012, 04:33PM
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Pajamah wrote:

Sure it does

How many things that you geniunely don't care about get you fired up?

I'm not a car guy, if someone keys my car and smashes my windows, big deal.

Lay a hand on my kids, and I'll flip my lid.

Passion without caring comes off as disingenuous. Bettman certainly didn't come off disingenuous.

I'm not a car guy either but if someone keys my car and I have to pay for the repairs I'm going to be pissed. If I have 30 people are breathing down my neck to get something done and someone's getting in the way of that getting done I'd sure show some passion out of frustration. (BTW if I was frustrated and not getting paid I might be passionate about my frustrations too ) oh and if I feel someone just tried to pull one over on me and make me look a certain way publicly I might be passionate about that too.

Again the dude might be passionate about the game but last night doesn't prove that.

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#34 The Beaker
December 07 2012, 04:35PM
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nunyour wrote:

when a team is for sale and there are no takers,that is a pretty clear indication that it does not make money.

Ummm not necessarily. Also, if a team is for sale and there are no takers it doesn't mean 19 other teams are losing money. You have no proof either way, niether do I. That's the point. Stop reaching.

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#35 The Beaker
December 07 2012, 04:49PM
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B S wrote:

The players have NEVER asked for more money during these negotiations. The argument has always been about how much less money the players should be making.

Again, I'm not for either side but this seems not to be understood by most people.

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#36 vetinari
December 07 2012, 04:52PM
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Strangely, the "cattle" have yet to try and be "farmers: themselves... by that, I mean through all of this, do you see the NHLPA proposing that they run a league of their own? Of course not.

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#37 buzzkiller
December 07 2012, 05:03PM
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vetinari wrote:

Strangely, the "cattle" have yet to try and be "farmers: themselves... by that, I mean through all of this, do you see the NHLPA proposing that they run a league of their own? Of course not.

Ha! If the NHLPA were to buy the Coyotes the may then be true partners in the business. Never happen. Players would never collectively put up with tose kids of losses. Would make for interesting player salary negotiations though.

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#38 Robin Brownlee
December 07 2012, 05:05PM
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@Pajamah

"I'm not a car guy, if someone keys my car and smashes my windows, big deal."

We must talk, Pajama Girl. We must talk.

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#39 Sanaa Montana
December 07 2012, 05:27PM
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#@$% the PA.!.. Get rid of it!

IIHF needs to step in and go the FIFA route. All players belong to FIFA and they can play where ever they want. It makes it easier for owners of clubs to sell the game and not find them selves held down by spoiled premadonnas.

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#40 nunyour
December 07 2012, 05:47PM
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The Beaker wrote:

Ummm not necessarily. Also, if a team is for sale and there are no takers it doesn't mean 19 other teams are losing money. You have no proof either way, niether do I. That's the point. Stop reaching.

yes i have no proof,but i do know actions speak louder than words,and i think if the owners were making a bunch of money there would be no lock out,and if a team was making a bunch of money it would not be a hard sell.

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#41 nunyour
December 07 2012, 05:53PM
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B S wrote:

The players have NEVER asked for more money during these negotiations. The argument has always been about how much less money the players should be making.

the devil is in the details.

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#42 Jaw17
December 07 2012, 06:36PM
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Two things, first, Jason how the heck did you get me to go from pissed off about the lockout to pumped about watching its drama? Second I don't know why you guys are all do mad at Don of course he doesn't care about hockey or the fans he wasn't hired to care about it he was hired to get the best deal for the players and that's what he's trying to do, the players, if they cared, would tell him to make the deal you can't blame the guy for doing his best to please his employers

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#43 nunyour
December 07 2012, 07:21PM
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The Beaker wrote:

Owners making a bunch of money would never try and make more money??

And making a bunch of money vs cutting even or even losing a little are different things. People buy failing businesses all the time because there is opportunity there. Again, one team does not = 20 failing teams.

Dude you are just making stuff up now. All I'm saying if you don't know 100% then don't say things as if you do. The problem here is people but into PR which is by it's nature made to create a certain appearance which suits someone needs, it's not the same thing as the absolute (edit: autocorrect) truth.

ok we can agree to disagree,but if hockey is cancelled for the whole year will you still think the owners are bluffing?

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#44 nunyour
December 07 2012, 07:32PM
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B S wrote:

or in this case the truth.

i will give you an example,if the owners increase the rookie contracts from 3 years to 5 years,you would pay lets say taylor hall ,5 years at 900k,instead of 900k for 3 years then 6 mill after that.that's one example.

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#45 The Beaker
December 07 2012, 07:33PM
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nunyour wrote:

ok we can agree to disagree,but if hockey is cancelled for the whole year will you still think the owners are bluffing?

See, this is the problem. I never said the owners are bluffing. Exactly the opposite, they are willing to hold out for the deal they want because they have enough stability to lose the year if they want. I just said I don't take everything the owners tell me at face value and neither should you. (Or the players for that matter)

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#46 DSF
December 07 2012, 08:01PM
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Evilas wrote:

It boggles my mind how these brain-washed players continue to blindly follow Fehr and the NHL Fatcat players who make all the money. Fehr with his baseball background doesn't give a hoot about the game, he only cares about fattening the wallets of the stars. He could care less if franchises go down, he doesn't care about the health of the league. He is the blind guardian leading his blind disciples. Short term gain for long-term pain....I would hope the majority of the NHLPA membership would start to extert some influence, because as we all know they have the most to lose.

The owners set the table at which the players have been invited to eat. But they don't prepare the meals, pay for the food or wash the dishes, they just show up to fill their faces and maybe stuff their pockets when they leave the table.

Nonsense.

The players are the meal.

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#47 DonDon
December 07 2012, 08:02PM
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I'm surprised with the amount of support for Gary Bettman and the NHL owners.

Bettman's brutal negotiation tactics are clearly obvious: create confusion, divide the players, demonize and isolate Fehr, seek sympathy, with feigned emotion to protest the unfairness of the other party, give some hope to the players and then squash it, suck the gullible media in, win the PR battle (which seems to be working according to the posts here).

The opening salvo of the negotiations was masterful, insult the other side with an unexpected and totally demeaning offer for the purpose of unsettling the players and have them questioning both the decision on hiring Fehr and their going-in strategy. Blitzkrieg by Bettman, no less!

The owners are drinking Gary's Kool-Aid. The infusion of the new four NHL owners into the negotiation process was a masterful stroke of evil genius and an outstanding charade on their part. They followed the script perfectly, even with their follow-up comments. You almost wanted to sympathize with the poor smucks, until you realized what actually happened, theatre.

Bettman has carefully scripted how he expects the negotiations to play out, with the objective of him being a total winner and the other side reduced to cattle. This negotiation is not about fairness, win-win, trust, and certainly not about the fans. It is about unadulterated power, ego and unconditional victory. Stand back and enjoy more of Bettman's theatre. But don't drink the Kool-Aid, it is poisoned.

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#48 dulock
December 07 2012, 08:10PM
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The Beaker wrote:

No, but as far as I know 100% of the books were never disclosed (never mind things like books of parent companies etc). Plus I think even the NHLPA knows they would look terrible if they started going on and on about "well really the teams are doing better then they really say and not be able to prove it to the public. I'm not saying what you are saying isn't true I'm just saying you can't know that and taking the NHLs word for it is just silly. I don't trust either side but people seem awfully willing to take one side at face value over the other which is nuts.

During the last lockout the NHLPA did say they didn't believe teams were losing money. When the NHL, the media, ForbesN common sense, any way you do the math, the constant search for Owners for teams, bankruptcies, no proof that they do make money, common sense and every source says there are teams losing money, it's safe to say it's true. I haven't seen Wayne Gretzky's birth certificate either. Should I question if he's Canadian?

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#49 Captain Obvious
December 07 2012, 08:36PM
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It's interesting how perceptions are different depending on the crowd. For instance, in my circle of friends/co-workers/acquaintances made up of professionals (Professors, Lawyers, Engineers, etc.) I don't know a single person who sides with the owners. And of those who watched the drama yesterday the opinion was uniformly that Bettman had a lot of nerve to talk about 100 million of give backs after they had already squeezed a billion dollars from the players, and to talk about how "insulted" they were.

But if you actually care about these issues and would like to move beyond venting your bile at the players when there is no Hemsky around to hate, spend some time reading at other sites and you'll find yourself surprised at how myopic you are being. Hell, even go over to lowetide's site. You guys like him right. You'll be surprised at how many people disagree with the common man's view of things.

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#50 Dulock
December 07 2012, 08:55PM
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@Captain Obvious

I'm a professional (I'm the controller/accountant of a multi-national manufacturing company) and I side with the owners. I don't hate the players. I don't boo them. I don't think they're bums. I just side with the owners.

We've had years and years of teams financial troubles being in the news. The simple fact that the American economy has collapsed. The Canadian dollar could plummet in the next ten years. Are there teams making killer money? Yes. Toronto sold for 1 Billion. Making money. Are there 10 teams losing money? Yep. If you want to get technical and talk about economic losses instead of accounting losses, possibly 20 or more. I'm with the owners because they want all of their teams to make it and the fans to keep their teams. Maybe even compete.

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