NHL/NHLPA Want You To Believe In Them

“The game deserves better, the fans deserve better and the people who derive income from their connection to the NHL deserve better,” said Bill Daly, the NHL deputy commissioner. “We remain committed to doing everything in our power to forge an agreement that is fair to the players, fair to the teams and good for our fans …We are committed to getting this done.”

That quote was lifted from The Globe and Mail website of the Canadian Press. The interview, taking place earlier Monday morning is nearly a full month after the lockout was imposed when the collective bargaining agreement expired on September 15th.

I’m not going to speak for everyone, but to me, when I see quotes like above, I get the feeling the mouth saying the words is only doing so to keep from laughing.

It wasn’t too long ago that each side felt compelled to adopt the credence of “we won’t bother talking until something changes.” One could assume that because they have held meetings since, progress was made. Not entirely so.

While the NHLPA and oft-maligned, People’s Choice “Satan” Award, Gary Bettman have resumed discussions, you might be disappointed to know at no point in time was the issue of revenue sharing broached. In fact, all that is getting discussed is the following:

-health and medical care

-safety

 -drug testing

-rent and mortgage reimbursements

 -grievances

I promise you, I am not kidding. And it hurts that I’m not. This seems to be the egress position for when the talks stall out. When they reach a stalemate on the key, central issues that, if settled via discussion, would…oh let me see here: respect the game, respect the fans, generate income for the employees in various positions, and respect the league.

I shouldn’t have to mention that if those things happen then it means hockey is being played and everybody is happy.

Unfortunately, with the most important issue being tabled for the time being, the result was nothing less than anticipated. First went preseason games, only to be followed by regular season games up to October 24th. In all, that’s 82 games across the league cancelled.

Silver lining? A lot of people, myself included, feel that if you really want to force someone into a position of thinking along your lines, the best way is to hurt them in the pocket-book. Sadly, this has already begun as teams have been “forced” into letting some personnel go. I use forced lightly since either side could end this as soon as me finishing this sentence.

Did they do it!? I didn’t think they would. So, the league has lost 82 games and all the money that goes along with it. The players, more or less, have lost another clean slate at doing what they love and have been doing for their entire lives: playing hockey.

When you’re dealing with “theoretical dollars” things tend to get ridiculous. The dictionary (read: in my brain) defines theoretical dollars as:

Thee^oh-rhet*uh{:}kull Dah-lers, noun  

“This isn’t real and you should probably not base things on this. Seriously

Do you realize people still play Monopoly? Do you realize people play Monopoly with theoretical dollars and still try and cheat!? Try playing with the real thing and see if anyone loses interest and flips the board halfway through.

The players want to continue earning just under $2B. The owners feel entitled to a larger slice of this new pie and (shocker) deservedly so. I’m not saying it should flip to the owners’ favor of 57 percent for the entirety of the next agreement. But, if the players think they can continue earning off that split, it’ll be a long time before they see any real dollars.

Some people point out that the NFL and NBA didn’t make real progress until near the four month mark of their respective (not respected) down times. Both sides in the NHL debacle continue to try and be the one who keeps us fans motivated and hopeful, when in fact, they’re collectively isolating the very thing that could not only hurt them, but walk away forever.

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