Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 01/04/13 at 03:20 PM ET
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
I’ve tried to understand that locking out the players is the owners’ prerogative under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement, just as it would have been an option for the players to go on strike. Or the two sides could have continued playing under the old agreement while they tried to negotiate a new one. The bottom line is that neither side was under any obligation to open the doors or start playing until a suitable deal was reached. How that was done was up to the two sides to work out and whatever tactics they used, within reason and within the confines of bargaining in good faith, were fair game.
But, my goodness, these two sides are making it increasingly difficult, nay impossible, to defend their positions. From the time talks blew up in New York one month ago, everyone involved in this standoff has accumulated an enormous amount of stink. And now, with threats of lawsuits flying back and forth, trust at an all-time low and both sides posturing with veiled threats then backing down, they are starting to look like a bunch of buffoons.
Let’s start with the league. They talk tough for a couple of months and insist they must get a deal that works for all 30 teams. Good luck achieving that, by the way. There is not a single collective bargaining agreement in existence that can address the disparities between markets in this league, nor is there one that can protect the perennial bottom feeders from making terrible decisions. No salary cap, no salary floor, no number of constrictions on contracts is going to make that happen.
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