Monday, August 06, 2012

Not time to panic yet...

Every time I hear or see Gary Bettman speak – I see a pompous, smug and condescending jerk. While I believe that there is a lot of time left before we start having to worry about another lockout – I do believe that Bettman is taking us to another labor stoppage. I am with my buddy Redwing77 I think it's time for Bettman to go.

The first proposal from the NHL owners looked ridiculous at first but it appears that the owners aren’t going to move "very" far from their initial offer.

The owners have been talking for weeks now and not a lot has come out of it other than more talking. According to Kevin Paul Dupont, the Onwers need a new way to deal with themselves. In a way I agree, not everything is equal – some teams are hurting financially while other teams are rolling in bucket loads of money. See graph of NHL revenue sharing. [click to view]
The Associated Press (AP) --- Commissioner Gary Bettman's league faces the possibility of being the next sport to endure a labour dispute — what would be its third in less than two decades — and there is growing concern that talks over a new collective bargaining agreement are stagnating. The league and the players' union have been meeting for weeks and still — nothing.

"The last thing [we] need to do is have some kind of a work stoppage, because we've made great strides with the positive spin hockey's had," Buffalo goaltender Ryan Miller said. "I think the years coming out of the [2004-05] lockout, we got a lot of the fan base back, a lot of positive energy. Mix that with the Olympics here in North America, a couple of good playoffs, and we have a fan base that's loyal and, honestly, the best sports fans out of any sport.

"We can't alienate them. This is up to the NHL and the NHLPA to just get it right."

Easier said than done. On Wednesday, the two sides polished off another set of talks at the league offices and not much progress was made.

"The owners did flesh out their proposal a bit further," NHLPA executive director Don Fehr said. "Gave us some of the numbers which is very helpful. It will take us some time to review that information, digest it, bottle it and figure out what the appropriate response is."

Yet with talks about to enter their seventh week, and with only six weeks remaining before the current CBA is set to expire, concern is mounting about a shortened season.
I think the fans need to tell the players and the owners to get into a room and start talking – we should also demand that they stay there until they have found a solution. The fans are the ones that are going to lose in this dispute and the league can’t survive without a fan base that is enthusiastic about NHL hockey.

So we slug on during the dog days of summer – not much more has happened on the lockout front – there still is time to get a deal done and the fans hope that the Players and Owners can find a solution before they start cutting into hockey fans favorite past time – watching NHL hockey.