Thursday, August 09, 2012

Bettman’s kick to the groin of hockey fans

Twitter has kind of blew up this afternoon with posts from NHL Hockey fans, agents and journalists about Gary Betman's announcement that there will be no NHL season without a new CBA - the NHL owners will lockout the NHL players if the two sides do not reach an agreement by the 15th of September.

I think it's kind of a kick to the groin because there is no reason the two sides can't come to an agreement before the season is to begin. It sounds like the two sides are far apart and might want to get talking if they are to reach a deal some time in the near future.

I think it would be a very bad idea for the owners to lock the players out. That being said there are some really good tweets and posts out there right now that kind of layout what is at stake here.

Damien Cox from the Toronto Star has a really good article that he wrote today.
Pay no attention. Ignore them.

That's about the best advice anyone can give a hockey fan these days as the NHL and NHL Players Association start the verbal sparring of yet another round of collective bargaining negotiations that almost certainly will result in another work stoppage.

For the "crime" of loving the game too passionately and supporting the 30 NHL clubs too enthusiastically in the wake of the last lockout, NHL fans and customers will now pay the price of watching the league and players demonstrate once more they care more about the business of the game than the sport or the fans.

They'll shut the game down, at least for a while, because the fans didn't punish them emphatically for shutting it down the last time. And it appears nothing will stop that from happening.
Mark Spector of has a really good article on dispelling some CBA myths. Spector has five myths to dispel and I like this myth the best.
Myth No. 5: There's no reason for the owners to lock out the players. Let's just start the season under the terms of the old CBA.

So union head Don Fehr says there is no reason to delay the start of the season. That is within accepted labour practices for the NHL to start the season under the terms of the current CBA, and continue to negotiate.

That is a fine strategy by Fehr, but unless nine-tenths of a new CBA is agreed upon by Sept. 15, it is completely unrealistic.

The fact that the owners cut the checks is the NHL's biggest hammer. If they start signing checks, what impetus is there for the players to accept the owners' terms?

How about this: The games go on as scheduled, but the players play for free until a deal is reached? Can you see that happening?
I don't think the players would like this one unless the owners would agree not to be paid either. Without the players there is no NHL.
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