Scott Burnside, ESPN.com --- Never mind the spreadsheets and the pie graphs breaking down the NHL's revenue streams, all union head Donald Fehr needs to do when the NHL and its players sit down to try to hammer out a new labor deal is to bring the clippings from the first four days of free agency.When the NHL announced that they had a record breaking $3.3 billion in revenue this past season and then they turned around and said that the NHL owners we're hurting is going to fall upon deaf ears. I don’t believe it and I am sure most of the fans don’t as well.
Zach Parise and Ryan Suter combining for $196 million over the next 13 seasons.
Forty-year-olds Ray Whitney and Jaromir Jagr combining to bring in a hair more than $9 million next season.
Matt Carle, 20th among NHL defensemen in point production last season, was lured back to Tampa by a six-year deal that will pay him an average of $5.5 million annually.
Jiri Hudler struck it rich with a four-year, $16 million contract after a career-best 25-goal campaign in Detroit.
Brandon Prust -- seriously -- got $10 million over four years to bring toughness to the Montreal lineup.
Every time a new contract was added to the list of bloated contracts that came before, commissioner Gary Bettman must have given a grim shake of his head.
Seriously! The NHL Owners are going to have a hard time convincing most sane people that the NHL owners are suffering financially. Sure, there is no doubt that certain teams are not as well off as financially as others – that’s life.
I also don’t doubt that are probably a half dozen NHL teams that would fold tomorrow if there is another lockout, but the owners made this bed for themselves. I don’t blame the players in this mess, the owners are the ones that signed free agents for astronomically high contracts and then turn around and say we want to reel in player contracts and that we’re broke.
The players and owners get to work and try avoid a work stoppage.