Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Both sides in the NHL’s labor impasse are a little gun shy with new proposals.
You have to think that will soon change, but there have been no new proposals tabled by either the NHL or the NHL Players’ Association since their dueling, rejected offers on Sept. 12.
The NHL has been front and center in saying the process won’t progress until the players bring forward a new proposal.
The NHLPA in return feels like it’s been the only side willing to compromise at all in any of its previous offers.
My sense, in speaking to various sources over the past few days, is that both sides, to a degree, are a little trepid to drop the next new offer for fear that the other side will simply pocket whatever compromise is included in that new offer and then use it as part of a future offer.
There’s history here.
When the NHLPA dropped a bombshell offer in December 2004 to roll back salaries 24 percent, the league indeed pocketed that juicy baby in every single version of its future proposals, and, when the lockout ended in 2005, the 24 percent rollback was part of the new CBA.
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
"I'm waiting for the owners who love the game and want to play to say 'Enough is enough,'" Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller told (Josh) Rimer. "If they showed us they have respect for the game and respect for the players the deal would come much sooner than using a lockout to hurt us."
The NHL game has paid Ryan Miller over $27 million in lifetime earnings. It sounds like the game has shown plenty of respect to the son of an East Lansing software consultant, a multi- multi-millionaire who has wed a Hollywood actress.
Then again, maybe we're just out of touch with what "respect" means these days. Or the kind of life a hockey player is supposed to be satisfied with.
Whenever the next NHL season starts – whenever a healthy Crosby starts fresh, whenever the Kings raise their banner, whenever all those players make their debuts in new places – there won't be the same hope and excitement there would have been next weekend. There won't be the same overwrought romance. There will be no virgin ice. It will be stained.
And everyone involved should be ashamed.
-Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo where you can read more on this topic.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
For anyone missing their daily dose of lockout-inspired sarcasm, the Answerman returns for a fresh look at a stale topic, Day 19 of a bun fight that shows no sign of ending in an up-with-people way:
Q: So the NHL cancelled 82 games today. Does that move the needle on negotiations in any way, shape or form?
A: None. It’s a sideshow we’ll see every two weeks, an opportunity for NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly to express his regret at the slow pace of negotiations. Fact is, from here on in, the cancellations mean nothing. If some miraculous solution were presented tomorrow, they’d find a way of tagging the lost games onto the end of the schedule, even if they risked a July finish. Seasons don’t matter here. Only dollars do.
from Michael Rosenberg of Sports Illustrated,
Steven Spielberg has a new movie called Lincoln coming out soon. I hope it is historically accurate and includes Lincoln's famous statement: "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times, and you can bite me, Gary Bettman."
The NHL is locked out again. You may not have noticed this, because NHL players merely play hockey and do not provide an important public service to the United States like call pass-interference penalties. But it's true: Another lockout.
The NHL just canceled two weeks of the regular season, though the games could be made up if the league and its players suddenly decide to agree on everything. I wouldn't hold my hope out for that one, though. This is a negotiation between Bettman and Donald Fehr, those two lovable porcupines, which means you can expect blood.
We're going to be here for a while. It is even possible the whole season will be lost. I find that unlikely, because it would be colossally stupid, but hey, let's not underestimate Bettman. Or overestimate him. Whatever the right term is. The man has a remarkable ability to divide and not conquer. Bettman could get a five-year-old girl to hate her favorite doll. He could even get the doll to hate the girl.
Bettman would argue about the range of issues at stake here. And he might be right. But for most hockey fans, this is about Bettman. And it is hard to argue with them.
Video via Eric Stephens of Ducks Blog at the OC Register,
TORONTO (October 4, 2012) – Don Fehr, National Hockey League Players’ Association Executive Director, released the following statement regarding today’s decision by the NHL to cancel games through October 24, 2012:
“The decision to cancel the first two weeks of the NHL season is the unilateral choice of the NHL owners. If the owners truly cared about the game and the fans, they would lift the lockout and allow the season to begin on time while negotiations continue. A lockout should be the last resort in bargaining, not the strategy of first resort. For nearly 20 years, the owners have elected to lock-out the players in an effort to secure massive concessions. Nevertheless, the players remain committed to playing hockey while the parties work to reach a deal that is fair for both sides. We hope we will soon have a willing negotiating partner.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
So, when does taking a knee become the right thing to do?
When do locked-out NHL players, faced with the immoveable force that is the NHL's ownership group, take one not just for the team, but for the future of the game?
When does the players' union realize that having the will to go toe-to-toe with the owners and keep NHL arenas dark for an entire season, or two, doesn't necessarily mean that is the path that should be followed?
Are we not at that point now?
The NHL announced on Thursday the cancelation of the first slate of regular-season games. After almost three weeks of the current lockout, the two sides remain isolated on the core issue of how to divvy up $3.3 billion in revenues.
As embarrassing as it is for a league that strives to be considered one of the big boys in North American sport, but consistently reveals itself as pathetically small and narrow-minded, the NHL's owners seem absolutely comfortable canceling a second season in eight years to get what they want, which is significant and immediate financial concessions from its players.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Can Fehr, with his history of labour disharmony in baseball, actually close a deal? Can Bettman, with three lockouts and the only cancelled season in professional sports history, actually close a deal?
And more importantly, do they need to wait until the second week of February - more than four months from now, when two-thirds of the season has gone up in smoke - before they start offering up meaningful concessions?
Sometimes, the lessons of the past can be helpful in cobbling together a new future.
Sadly, more often, it goes the other way, and always leads me back to the words of philosopher George Santayana:
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
read on as Duhatschek reviews his notes from the last lockout...
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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