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SYF's avatar

Bad, bad choice of words.

Posted by SYF from The Revenge of Johnny E on 12/20/12 at 12:17 PM ET

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Pope Bettmandict XVI?

Posted by Pavel Datsyuk's Five o' Clock Shadow on 12/20/12 at 12:23 PM ET

LivinLaVidaLockout's avatar

Bad, bad choice of words.
Posted by SYF from an NHL wasteland…and it fuching sucks. on 12/20/12 at 12:17 PM ET

Agreed. Talk about escalation.

Posted by LivinLaVidaLockout on 12/20/12 at 12:30 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

Walsh is a MORON !

Posted by Evilpens on 12/20/12 at 12:40 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Walsh is DIRECTLY QUOTING A SOURCE !

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 12/20/12 at 12:42 PM ET

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Poor choice of words or accurate assessment of how each side has become entrenched?  The original issue was 50/50 split, that seems like eons ago. Every day there are new “hills to die on.”

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 12/20/12 at 12:44 PM ET

LivinLaVidaLockout's avatar

Poor choice of words or accurate assessment of how each side has become entrenched?  The original issue was 50/50 split, that seems like eons ago. Every day there are new “hills to die on.”
Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 12/20/12 at 12:44 PM ET

Is “accurately assessing” the situation to the public always a smart choice?

Posted by LivinLaVidaLockout on 12/20/12 at 12:56 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Accurate.

Board of Governors: “We have found a witch, may we burn him?”

Bettman: “Donald Fehr weighs the same as a duck!”

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 12/20/12 at 12:59 PM ET

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Is “accurately assessing” the situation to the public always a smart choice?

I don’t think the original quote was made for public consumption.  The leak of the quote was intended by Walsh to serve his own purposes. The mistake was feeding the quote to Walsh if you never wanted it released.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 12/20/12 at 01:32 PM ET

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Was the source talking about the owners, or the players?

Posted by HockeyinHD on 12/20/12 at 01:45 PM ET

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I don’t think the original quote was made for public consumption.  The leak of the quote was intended by Walsh to serve his own purposes. The mistake was feeding the quote to Walsh if you never wanted it released.

What if the high-powered NHL exec was a Dove?

Seems like ‘accidentally’ leaking something to an agent in ‘private’ and then the agent just happening to tweet out the comment might be a strategy to avoid a million dollar fine.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 12/20/12 at 01:47 PM ET

RedMenace's avatar

What if the high-powered NHL exec was a Dove?

Seems like ‘accidentally’ leaking something to an agent in ‘private’ and then the agent just happening to tweet out the comment might be a strategy to avoid a million dollar fine.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 12/20/12 at 01:47 PM ET

Especially knowing how outspoken Walsh has been during this lockout…

Posted by RedMenace from the Church of Jesus Lashoff on 12/20/12 at 02:04 PM ET

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Especially knowing how outspoken Walsh has been during this lockout

Exactly.  I mean, how spectacularly stupid would an exec have to be to say something to a freaking agent?  I don’t buy that for a second.

So, which team said it?

Walsh represents players from St. Louis, Vancouver, Columbus, Boston, NJ, Tampa, Anaheim, Buffalo, and Ottawa.

It seems plausible it was one of the owners of those teams, mostly because I highly doubt an owner would reach out to an agent he doesn’t have a current relationship he could improve by doing this with.

From that list I’m thinking either Vancouver (Team Prez/GM Mike Gillis would likely be the guy here) or Ottawa (Melnyk or Murray from here).

Posted by HockeyinHD on 12/20/12 at 02:23 PM ET

RedMenace's avatar

So, which team said it?

Posted by HockeyinHD on 12/20/12 at 02:23 PM ET

Honestly, it doesn’t matter if one or all of them said it; the fact that a “high-powered NHL Executive” (whatever that means to Walsh) acknowledges that this farce of a negotiation has turned “Biblical” is a pretty powerful statement.

Posted by RedMenace from the Church of Jesus Lashoff on 12/20/12 at 02:31 PM ET

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Especially knowing how outspoken Walsh has been during this lockout…

Which goes back to my point that if he didn’t want it leaked it would be a mistake to talk to Walsh. Instead of public consumption, I think I should have stated it wasn’t meant for public attribution.  I think Walsh and “Anonymous” both got what they wanted.  There are fractures everywhere at this point since it became apparent that this has all become pointless.

 

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 12/20/12 at 02:35 PM ET

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Walsh is DIRECTLY QUOTING A SOURCE !

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 12/20/12 at 12:42 PM ET

Strictly speaking, Walsh is not a journalist and does not follow journalistic ethics when it would come to “sourcing.” Walsh’s job is to sell himself as a brand, make as much money as possible, sign as many money guys as possible, and make sure those guys live as comfortably as possible.

Walsh is about as credible when citing a “source” as Donald Trump would be.

Posted by larry on 12/20/12 at 02:36 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Posted by larry on 12/20/12 at 02:36 PM ET

I think Walsh is a blowhard and a jagoff, but I’m not buying the “he’s not a journalist so it’s more likely he’s lying about this” line of thought.

If Walsh wants to say that it’s gone from an economic battle to a religious war himself, he’d just say that. He’s more than outspoken enough to say that without having to add the conspiracy theory that he would attribute it to an exec for not much real purpose.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 12/20/12 at 02:47 PM ET

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If Walsh wants to say that it’s gone from an economic battle to a religious war himself, he’d just say that.

... and if he wants to say that and have people believe it rather than just blowing it off as ‘stupid bleep an agent says’, he’d pretend it was something someone from the other side told him.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 12/20/12 at 02:57 PM ET

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Walsh is a blowhard and a jagoff (and) If Walsh wants to say (it) .... he’d just say that.

I don’t disgree with you, but knowing that he is a blowhard and jagoff he may just attribute the quote to someone else to give it more weight. I mean at this point, no one really cares what he has to say, unless he is relaying something important from someone else.  I still tend to believe the quote is real and just an easy way for someone to “speak off the record”, but there still could be good reason for him to make it up.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 12/20/12 at 02:58 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I agree that there are valid reasons Walsh would make it up; I just don’t think he’s got any more reason to have done that than any actual journalist does to make up a quote to drive hits to his paper/magazine/website.

And I don’t think he did make it up.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 12/20/12 at 03:02 PM ET

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I don’t disgree with you, but knowing that he is a blowhard and jagoff he may just attribute the quote to someone else to give it more weight. I mean at this point, no one really cares what he has to say, unless he is relaying something important from someone else.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 12/20/12 at 02:58 PM ET

Basically this. If Walsh just goes “This has turned into a religious war,” he would be opening himself up to criticism. Attributing it to someone else removes him from this type of criticism.

I agree that there are valid reasons Walsh would make it up; I just don’t think he’s got any more reason to have done that than any actual journalist does to make up a quote to drive hits to his paper/magazine/website.

And I don’t think he did make it up.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 12/20/12 at 03:02 PM ET

Think of it this way: a journalist who makes up a quote is risking his career if caught. He’ll be fired and blacklisted. And to gain what? Page views…which have a very loose correlation with dollars unless you’re a “journalist” on Bleacher Report or Gawker. And even then, those dollars are small.

In Walsh’s case, I expect the reason for his serial tweeting what he tweets, even before the lockout, is so players who are in the market for an agent look around and say to themselves “Gee that Walsh really gets his guys’ backs.”

Every guy who looks at him and says this is worth hundreds of thousands, if not millions (depending on who the guy is) to Walsh’s business.

And if he’s caught in a lie that’s told in the interest of “getting his guys’ backs,” this calculus doesn’t change (and he sure as Hell isn’t about to fire himself from his own agency because he fabricated or misrepresented a “source”).

So he’s got more to gain and less to lose by pulling turds out of thin air and throwing them at walls, whereas journalists have a lot to lose and little to gain.

Posted by larry on 12/20/12 at 03:26 PM ET

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And just to be clear, were I a player, I’d give Walsh strong consideration. Not because he’s got any integrity, mind you, but because I knew if, for instance, my coach was skimping my ice time, Walsh would call him out loudly and publicly, which might be good for my career.

Posted by larry on 12/20/12 at 03:28 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

And if he’s caught in a lie that’s told in the interest of “getting his guys’ backs,” this calculus doesn’t change (and he sure as Hell isn’t about to fire himself from his own agency because he fabricated or misrepresented a “source”).

NHL agents have to be certified and can absolutely lose their ability to be an agent if they’re found out to be lying. There is a professional code of conduct.

He’s got the exact same amount to gain or lose by lying here as any journalist.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 12/20/12 at 03:33 PM ET

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I just don’t think he’s got any more reason to have done that than any actual journalist does

Well, Walsh is paid a percentage of salaries… correct?

It would seem he has a rather direct financial motivation to have a deal happen sooner rather than alter because if players aren’t being paid then neither is he.

Add in the aforementioned stuff regarding players relationships and Walsh has a whole bunch to gain both financially and in perceived reputation and influential cache by acting as he did.

And larry, there’s pretty much no way he’s going to get called on a lie.  Even if he is lying it’s not like the aforementioned NHL guy is going to step up and say ‘Hey!  When you and I were just sitting around shooting the bull I, like, totally never even said anything like that!’  And even if the NHL guy really is that stupid, Walsh can just say ‘Hey!  I wasn’t talking about our conversation!’ ... and the NHL guy looks like a double-douche.

It’s an easy lie to tell, assuming it is one.  There’s no-one to call him on it, if it has any effect at all it’s in his financial benefit, it makes him look plugged in to other players… that’s a win-win-win right there.

And, again, it may even be true.  That’s be a win-win-win-win for him.  I’m just really, really skeptical.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 12/20/12 at 03:34 PM ET

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NHL agents have to be certified and can absolutely lose their ability to be an agent if they’re found out to be lying. There is a professional code of conduct.

Well, what is it?

Posted by HockeyinHD on 12/20/12 at 03:41 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Well, Walsh is paid a percentage of salaries… correct?

It would seem he has a rather direct financial motivation to have a deal happen sooner rather than alter because if players aren’t being paid then neither is he.

And hockey journalists are dealing with website hits being way way down, so they’re fighting over increasing fan disinterest in following lockout news.

Add in the aforementioned stuff regarding players relationships and Walsh has a whole bunch to gain both financially and in perceived reputation and influential cache by acting as he did.

If you’re looking to appear as though you’ve got the players’ backs, the stronger action in such a case would be to directly say it’s a religious war rather than simply reporting somebody else said it.  Or are the players you’ve consistently been calling idiots smart enough to just know that Walsh was smart enough to make up somebody else’s quote to more people would pay attention to it and it would benefit them AND still actually be his quote?

Yes, it’s possible and not-unprobable that Walsh just made this shit up. My argument is in how much more likely Walsh is to have made this up than a journalist. I think there are some unassailable journos out there that would never dream of doing this. I also think there are some perfectly assailable journalists who WOULD.

All-in-all, I’d say Allen Walsh has about as much credibility as Adrian Dater, not Donald Trump.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 12/20/12 at 03:52 PM ET

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NHL agents have to be certified and can absolutely lose their ability to be an agent if they’re found out to be lying. There is a professional code of conduct.

He’s got the exact same amount to gain or lose by lying here as any journalist.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 12/20/12 at 03:33 PM ET

I’m sure there is a professional code of conduct. I’m also pretty confident it involves mostly breaking the law or cheating a client. I don’t see how making up a quote from “some nameless guy” he makes no claim on representing constitutes either.

And even if it did, as hockeyinhd above me said, how do you prove that? Journalists need to provide their sources to an editor, who can, theoretically, check them. Agents have no editor.

“hey Walsh, nobody said that”

“hey Bettman, feel free to prove that nobody did” (which is impossible)

Posted by larry on 12/20/12 at 04:03 PM ET

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Or are the players…smart enough to just know that Walsh was smart enough to make up somebody else’s quote

If they did know, why would they care? Walsh’s job is to make their standard of living go up. He gets their backs to raise their brand confidence in him. That he may or may not be a liar when it comes to what he tweets doesn’t have anything to do with their interest in what he does.

“Hey, Havlat, you hear Walsh called the NHL a bunch of jihadists and blamed it on someone else?”

“No, I have more important things to worry about, like swimming in my Scrooge McDuck money vault that Walsh made possible.”

Posted by larry on 12/20/12 at 04:10 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I’m sure there is a professional code of conduct. I’m also pretty confident it involves mostly breaking the law or cheating a client. I don’t see how making up a quote from “some nameless guy” he makes no claim on representing constitutes either.

Lying isn’t against the law, but fraud is. If Cox made up a quote in order to affect the CBA process (as is the supposed charge here), then that’s what he’s done.

Even without stretching for that definition, most professional codes of conduct I’ve come across pretty explicitly states you’re not supposed to lie. The NHL gives the NHLPA free reign to have whomever they want as agents, but they also maintain the authority to blacklist people they can argue are harmful to the game. If Walsh were found to have done so, I don’t think the players are going to circle the wagons around him.

But editor oversight is the big difference here? That makes me feel much better about reading the Globe and Mail.

 

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 12/20/12 at 04:12 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

That he may or may not be a liar when it comes to what he tweets doesn’t have anything to do with their interest in what he does.

That’s quite the assumption.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 12/20/12 at 04:16 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

If Cox made up a quote in order to affect the CBA process

Sorry, obviously supposed to say Walsh there.  He and Damien Cox fight so often that sometimes I do that.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 12/20/12 at 04:18 PM ET

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Lying isn’t against the law, but fraud is. If (ed Walsh) made up a quote in order to affect the CBA process (as is the supposed charge here), then that’s what he’s done.

http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=a409105d-dbc1-43f1-a3a9-c8eb303ac8e7

Neil Sheehy fabricated interest in Jeff Finger to drive Toronto to a price that no other club was willing to pay.

There he is on the certified player agent list, nonetheless http://www.nhlpa.com/inside-nhlpa/certified-player-agents/find-an-agent?ln=S.

The Jeff Finger contract is closer to fraud effecting a future CBA (though not evidence I’d accept) than Walsh saying “some guy said somethin bout a religious war” when nobody said that.

Agents lie to affect outcomes. Their job frequently demands it. I don’t begrudge Walsh for being a bullshitter. But neither would I accept anything he says at face value, and I would certainly believe just about any journalist who answers to any editor when they cite a “source” before him.

Posted by larry on 12/20/12 at 04:38 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Neil Sheehy fabricated interest in Jeff Finger to drive Toronto to a price that no other club was willing to pay.

Where exactly is the smoking gun here? Was Sheehy actually found to have been lying here?

The Jeff Finger contract is closer to fraud effecting a future CBA (though not evidence I’d accept) than Walsh saying “some guy said somethin bout a religious war” when nobody said that.

Great, so it’s agreed. Walsh doesn’t have such a big reason to have fabricated an NHL exec having said this over him just having come out and said it himself. Other agents have (allegedly) done worse and have impacted these negotiations (arguably) less.

If he’s working for his players to get a reputation as the guy who stands up for them, then it makes much more sense for him to have said this himself. 

The logic here is that he’s taking basically no risk (since people who wouldn’t have listened to him saying it himself are just as likely to believe he has a source who said it to him AND he’s never going to be found to be lying if that’s what he’s doing) to have basically no effect in a way that’s probably worse for him than saying it himself.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 12/20/12 at 04:50 PM ET

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The logic here is that he’s taking basically no risk (since people who wouldn’t have listened to him saying it himself are just as likely to believe he has a source who said it to him AND he’s never going to be found to be lying if that’s what he’s doing) to have basically no effect in a way that’s probably worse for him than saying it himself.

The “risk” is religious insensitivity. If Walsh is making cavalier comments about religious wars and attributing them to himself, does that preclude the idea of him ever representing, say, a certain #1 overall draft pick who comes from an ethnic group that has had violent religious conflicts, recently, in his country of origin?

Look, my point isn’t that Walsh must have lied about this. My point is you can’t take anything he says publicly at face value. He’s not supposed to be credible. His job involves NOT being credible.

Walsh once said any general manager who isn’t developing an NHL player at a 7/9 rate from his draft picks is incompetent (in the context of getting the back of one of his guys who played for, I think, Minnesota). Is this a reasonable assessment of professional scouting? Or is he just throwing stuff out there for his own purposes?

Where exactly is the smoking gun here? Was Sheehy actually found to have been lying here?

Jeff Marek said that, but I’m not looking through two or three years of podcasts to figure out when.

Posted by larry on 12/20/12 at 05:00 PM ET

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And hockey journalists are dealing with website hits being way way down, so they’re fighting over increasing fan disinterest in following lockout news.

So Walsh is making 0 dollars and writers are making… what?  Have they all forgone their pay during the lockout too?

If you’re looking to appear as though you’ve got the players’ backs, the stronger action in such a case would be to directly say it’s a religious war rather than simply reporting somebody else said it.

“It would seem he has a rather direct financial motivation to have a deal happen sooner rather than alter because if players aren’t being paid then neither is he.

Add in the aforementioned stuff regarding players relationships and Walsh has a whole bunch to gain both financially and in perceived reputation and influential cache by acting as he did.”

Could he just say ‘it’s a holy war!  They’re all lunatics!!!’?

Sure.  This is why I said:

” and if he wants to say that and have people believe it rather than just blowing it off as ‘stupid bleep an agent says’, he’d pretend it was something someone from the other side told him.”

Where exactly is the smoking gun here? Was Sheehy actually found to have been lying here?

What would be the smoking gun in this case, JJ?

Walsh doesn’t have such a big reason to have fabricated an NHL exec having said this over him just having come out and said it himself.

1) He makes all his money if a deal is signed.  He makes none of his money if it is not.  Does this make a deal more likely?  Maybe, maybe not.  It certainly doesn’t make it less likely.

2) He looks more influential to the players by having these high-level conversations in-lockout, and thereby increases his reputation and cache as an agent.

He has huge, huge reasons to do precisely as he did.  Now, if he hasn’t already done so, he can go to his players and say further things to ingratiate them to him, which they will in turn disseminate to their teammates and friends in the league.

The logic here is that he’s taking basically no risk (since people who wouldn’t have listened to him saying it himself are just as likely to believe he has a source who said it to him AND he’s never going to be found to be lying if that’s what he’s doing) to have basically no effect in a way that’s probably worse for him than saying it himself.

The logic here is that he’s taking no risk to a) look influential, b) show off a bit to the players and c) maybe get a deal made sooner.  Maybe not, but maybe so.

And since his entire financial well-being rides on hockey being played, point c) counts as a super-double-plus-1up score multiplier.

Again, I take what agents and GMs say for the most part at 1 cent on the dollars worth of value.  It’s in their job descriptions to be vague, evasive, and outright dishonest if necessary.  Bend the law, but don;t break the law.  Walsh has likely left himself a number of reasonable outs with regards to his ‘quote’, IMO chief among them being no clarification regarding whether his ‘source’ was talking about the owners or the players being the ones engaged in a ‘holy war’.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 12/20/12 at 05:10 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

no clarification regarding whether his ‘source’ was talking about the owners or the players being the ones engaged in a ‘holy war’.

I don’t believe that point needs clarification. Without specifically mentioning one, the quote can (and should) be adequately attributed to both.

There’s also a necessary and semantic difference between a ‘holy war’ and a ‘religious war’.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 12/20/12 at 05:46 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Posted by
     
    J.J. from Kansas
     
    on 12/20/12 at 05:46 PM ET

yeah, one is a war sanctioned by God.  The other is a war fighting over which God gets to sanction wars.

for intents and purposes, the quote was to imply that these negotiatings are “no longer”(implying they ever were) being driven by facts and goals but ideologies and perseptions.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 12/20/12 at 06:26 PM ET

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yeah, one is a war sanctioned by God.  The other is a war fighting over which God gets to sanction wars.

for intents and purposes, the quote was to imply that these negotiatings are “no longer”(implying they ever were) being driven by facts and goals but ideologies and perseptions.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 12/20/12 at 06:26 PM ET

This brings me to something I haven’t mentioned. I think Walsh, or whoever he’s quoting, if he’s quoting anyone, is correct in saying this has become ideological, rather than interest-based. This is particularly noticeable in that the PA’s most recent offer is worse for them, financially, than any NHL offer since September. Electing to lose $800 million in salary to get an extra $100 million in make-whole is illogical. As is the NHL’s willingness to “die on a hill” and damage the sports’ finances over the arrangement of the deck chairs on the titanic, rather than the numbers of them.

I just don’t assign credibility to Walsh’s “reporting” whether what he’s “reporting” makes sense or not, for reasons I’ve already gone into.

Posted by larry on 12/20/12 at 06:51 PM ET

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I don’t believe that point needs clarification.

So the ‘quote’ is this:

““We’ve gone from an economic battle to a religious war.”

... and you don’t think whether the ‘source’ was talking about the owners or the players needs clarification?

Electing to lose $800 million in salary to get an extra $100 million in make-whole is illogical. As is the NHL’s willingness to “die on a hill” and damage the sports’ finances over the arrangement of the deck chairs on the titanic, rather than the numbers of them.

Based on the hard information we have we can suggest the following as true:

The PA is full of illogical, stubborn people.  We know this for the reason you just mentioned.  They’re 700 million bucks in the hole if they start playing in 21 days.  What, exactly, are they doing?  Do those dopes really think 5 instead of 6 RFA years or 7 year max deals that 2% of the players would be affected by is worth 700 million bucks and counting?

They’re being idiots.  Not only has the PA chosen to die on a hill, they shot themselves in the femoral artery to make sure they would.  Morons.

The owners, on the other hand, are not idiots.  They’re all rich guys and they didn’t get rich by being stupid.  If any of the PA’s offers made them enough money to make it worth playing, they’d be playing.  This is why I don’t think many of those guys are actually making any money off of hockey ops, and it’s why most of them seem perfectly willing to not play over a comparatively small margin.  For a lot of owners that margin is the difference between losing money and not losing money.  This makes it valuable.

For the players this margin is the difference between making 2.4 mil on average and 2.2 mil on average.  That makes it crazy.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 12/20/12 at 07:11 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

So the ‘quote’ is this:

““We’ve gone from an economic battle to a religious war.”

... and you don’t think whether the ‘source’ was talking about the owners or the players needs clarification?

No, I don’t. Because he was talking about both.

Why do you need the assumption of a finger being pointed in this situation?

 

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 12/20/12 at 07:26 PM ET

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