Petshark: Talking Stick
Entries with the tag: cba
Stop patronizing me, NHL et al. I'm not patronizing you, but then you don't have anything to sell. Your shop doors are locked.
So just don't. NHL, don't pretend you're trying to avoid going broke. I know you're just trying to get more on top of the very much you already get from the sport. NHLPA, don't tell me I'd do the same thing in your position, I can't even imagine being in your position. Media, stop telling me this lockout is such a bleeding catastrophe because it leaves me without hockey to watch. If you don't know there's plenty of hockey for me to follow, you haven't done your homework. If someone is telling you you're not allowed to cover anything but major league sports, I'm sorry. I can't help you.
It doesn't matter who I side with in the dispute. I have no say. Let me in the room, give me 20 minutes and a sturdy piece of lumber, I could probably sort it out for you but you wouldn't like it. So don't apologize to me, you don't really care what I think. I'm going to watch some hockey.
The Worcester Sharks and the San Francisco Bulls both play today. Last weekend was great for Worcester. They won 2 of 3 and got the OT point in the loss. Sunday's nail-biter featured a 0-0 tie all the way into a shootout, against the Manchester Monarchs who currently sit well above Worcester in the AHL Conference standings. Stalock was in net for that one. All that has to be good for morale.
The SF Bulls wrapped up their long road trip in Ontario on Wednesday night with a 3-1 loss. It was not an easy road trip for them. They haven't won since their second road game in Bakersfield on October 19. Let's hope being home can restart the engine.
As has been reported, Ryane Clowe's agreement with the Bulls was made official and announced by the team. It isn't clear yet whether he will play. With more NHLers signing deals with ECHL teams this week (Setoguchi helped the Reign beat the Bulls on Wednesday), it would seem like a moot point. Of course Clowe should play, if he wants to. Or should he?
Despite lack of evident progress in major league negotiations, hockey goes on. Sure, we can expect the Winter Classic to be cancelled tomorrow, but that hardly qualifies as progress. It represents a big loss for the sport and the league, but I don't know who believed the NHL was going to get out of this lockout without taking heavy losses. Well, there was that one guy... Anyway, tough deal for Detroit and those Canadians who were looking forward to having a Canadian team in that game. The catch to those losses is that however much money some teams lost under the old CBA, they can apparently afford to lose more.
@PollakOnSharks: "So, @RattoCSN, if it isn't about the product (and not arguing), this more about egos or some sort of collective economic suicide mission?"
May they lose to their heart's content-- not my problem.
It isn't easy for NHL fans to transfer their enthusiasm to minor.. err, development league teams. There are statistics to tabulate and other impersonal ways of analyzing team performance, but most fans need to connect on some level with the players on the team. We like to know their names, recognize their faces, be familiar with their playing habits. If you explode the roster all over the planet, most people will have trouble feeling the same passion for a new team in a different league than they knew last season. As a two-teaming fan whose loyalties extend to affiliated minor league teams, it should not be a big leap for me.
I caught a wild kitten last week. The folks at the animal shelter said he is just a couple weeks too old to be tamed. I said what the heck, the Sharks are locked out, the Bulls are on the road, I'll give it a try anyway. As I sat there with the three pound feline cornered, petting his back gently, trying to make purring sounds, I wondered if I could find a parallel between this process and the NHL CBA negotiations. I got stuck on who is the tiny cat and who is the busy-body human.
Of course, neither side qualifies as a completely helpless, fearful little thing. And both sides understand what they need the other for. The kitten doesn't understand that making friends with people can double his life span and reduce stress dramatically. It is a poor comparison. Still, I will be keeping track of our relative progress, and I suspect my negotiations will end before the NHL's, even with the multi-year head start they have on me. Really, this is all stuff they should have been thinking about ever since the last time they did this. I concluded that the CBA negotiations are less like a rapprochement and more like two lions fighting over a kill. They are not concerned with making friends. Ironically, they aren't even that hungry.
Disgust. I was mulling that word over yesterday. I guess it breaks down to something like "distaste." It sounds like other things too. "To diss," as in "to disrespect." "Gust" is almost "gusto." So disrespect for gusto? That could apply to an NHL lockout. So could distaste, a response to a vomitous bad taste.
Friday the 14th isn't a significant date in itself, it was just the day of the last Captain's Practice at Sharks Ice before the old CBA expires, the last practice before the lockout begins. I don't know if anyone doubts it will come now. I feel like someone should throw a party, the way some people throw divorce parties. I'm not going to throw that party.
Finally some waiver news from the Sharks: Jon Matsumoto, Bracken Kearns and Danny Groulx were put on waivers, presumably so they can join the Worcester Sharks. Seems like they were slated to play there all along but at least it's a sign of life from the Sharks.
Yesterday the NHL and the NHLPA met again to talk about meeting again:
@DarrenDreger: "Good, candid discussion in negotiations today. NHL and NHLPA will determine when the next meeting will be tomorrow."
That "tomorrow" means today... a Saturday? It may not seem like much but talking is progress, progress that could yet prevent a lockout. Wait, what? But... but... but... we're all ready for a lockout. We've been TOLD there will be one, that there was never a chance the season would start on time. We're all cranky and bitter and people have not purchased tickets or made reservations they would have made if they thought the season would start any time before December! Sharks fans have season tickets to SF Bulls games! They can't just go talking like this... they can't not not play now. And yet they are hard at work to do just that:
@Russostrib: "Konopka says #NHLPA staff is still hard at work at #NHLPA office. He's sticking around til the morning to see if they'll meet again #MNWild"
Well, that's what you get, ye of little faith and anyone else trying to make sense of the signs. Just when the KHL and even the Swedes were getting ready for open season on NHL players, we get this talking stuff.