Kukla's Korner Hockey
And so, let us pause now to ponder the colossal stupidity of the lockout and all that it entails.
If you're connected to the game, if you're a fan, a journalist, a PR staffer, a player, a GM or an owner, there is a certain conceit connected to being a puckhead, a certain sense of propriety about The Game.
Whether it's part of your DNA, as is the case with so many Canadians, or you have just fallen in love with the game through other levels of exposure, there is for the most part a connection that is palpable, unique.
It's this kind of connection that allows players and owners to take fans for granted and regularly close down the game for their own good.
You'd think we'd be used to it by now.
Still, we pause to ponder the great opportunity lost, the great opportunity to prove that such sentiments were actually true and/or worthwhile.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
On Friday, teams signed players to more than $100-million (U.S.) worth of contract extensions and the mad rush continued on Saturday morning, when the Boston Bruins announced that popular power forward Milan Lucic, a 61-point player last season, had agreed to a three-year extension, worth $18-million.
But the most curious contract of all had to be the four-year, $21.2-million deal inked by Shane Doan with the Phoenix Coyotes, a team that is still owned by the NHL itself.
In effect, the NHL itself joined the signing stampede to get Doan under contract, even though the optics of the league-wide spending spree continue to send a mixed message to players and fans alike.
If things are so bad in this agreement, then why don’t the teams collectively postpone their player signing decisions until there is a new CBA in place?
Theoretically, it could be because they expect another rollback in whatever agreement is coming next.
As the clock moves towards midnight and a lockout of the players by the NHL, hockey fans feel betrayed, frustrated, upset, etc.
If you want your feelings known, feel free to leave a comment below...
Danny Lewicki, who fought the labor battle...
Watch the CBC video...
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
Bettman and Fehr have been going at it for months now, and neither has conceded an inch. Now, they play chicken. Bettman has presided over two, soon to be three, lockouts. Fehr has been through multiple work stoppages, including a strike that caused the cancellation of the 1994 World Series. They have their constituencies, and the fans are not among them.So here we go again.
Hockey is on the shelf amid a sheath of paperwork. The game is going dark. The Columbus All-Star Game is in jeopardy.
On the bright side, no doubt ticket prices will be lower whenever they get back — a nod to the greatest fans in the world.
NEW YORK (September 14, 2012) -- Bill Daly, Deputy Commissioner of the National Hockey League, released the following statement regarding tonight’s ruling by the Quebec Labour Board:
“We are pleased but not surprised with the Quebec Labour Board's ruling tonight that any lockout of Players will be effective on a League-wide basis, including in Quebec, and we are extremely appreciative of the expeditious and decisive manner in which the matter was handled. We are hopeful that this ruling will cause the Players' Association to cease pursuing these needless distractions and instead focus all of its efforts and energies on making progress at the bargaining table.”
Players have long memories. One, [NHL owners] want to roll back our contracts, which I don’t care what business you’re in, is going to kick a fire under a lot of people. And the second part of it, which maybe goes overlooked a little bit because of the financial aspect, is that every contract ends with a handshake -- every single contract. Where I come from you honor your handshakes. If you don’t honor your word you have nothing.
If I make a bad deal or sign a bad contract that’s my fault. I accept that and I’m a man and I work through that. That’s something I deal with. I don’t go crying foul or looking for somebody to fix my mistakes. I accept that as a man, that I made a bad decision. Hockey players are pretty honest people and they don’t like it when it’s coming back the other way.
I was raised when you give a man your word and you shake a hand it’s as good as gold. That’s something that I think really upsets the players, that we’re not being treated that way."
-Brooks Laich of the Washington Capitals on the players sitting out the whole year. More from Chuck Gormley of CSN Washington.
from Stu Hackel of the Red Light,
Even putting the economics aside for a moment, there are significant points of differentiation and they can’t be ignored. First, the players are willing to report to training camp, play the schedule and continue to negotiate. They make the case that the lockout would be a choice made by ownership, not something they must do. Bettman’s position is that the owners won’t operate even one extra day under the terms of the old agreement. He continually insists — and says he has insisted to Fehr for months — that the union will be locked out if no new deal is reached by 11:59 PM Saturday.
The owners may believe that their stance is necessary because they suspect that if they start the season and negotiations drag, the players will strike. It seems more as if they are trying to train a dog to heel. The fact is that the threat of a lockout has been hovering over this league for at least a year, long before anyone slid a proposal across a table to the other side. It’s not a new development and that doesn’t create the kind of atmosphere that’s conducive to forging a deal, at least not one that purports to be fair to both sides.
And that leads to the second point of differentiation: How fair is what the owners have proposed to the players? Fehr emphasized that point in his remarks to the media.
from Ken Dryden at the Globe and Mail,
We have become better and better at difference. We hire more experts to push our own case. It’s their job to win, their only job. Nothing else matters. It’s black and white, winning and losing, winners and losers. Grey is boring. Conviction is good. Compromise is weak. Compromisers are spineless. The media decide what’s worthy of attention. The media love difference. There’s drama in difference, drama in conflict. There is no bigger interest. There are only interests.
So we fight for as much as we can get.
What are the losers – the fans – to do? They could try to stand up together, develop a strategy, stay home from games. As unlikely as that is, big surprises happen, and the strong are never as strong as they seem.
Or the players and owners might say, this is going nowhere good. The way we live isn’t about total victory, about being the only one left standing, the only one who wins. An economy, a society, politics, sports don’t work if only a few win. With no overwhelming issues, NHL owners and players have agreed to disagree.
They need to learn how to agree to agree.
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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