Petshark: Talking Stick
Entries with the tag: lockout
The lockout was announced as over on January 6, Twelfth Night. Was it an industry-wide epiphany? Was it time to clean up, as is traditional in many Christmas-celebrating households? Was it just Ed Snider's birthday present? Was that the prize in the plum cake?
It seems like I should be feeling something like this:
If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.
That strain again! it had a dying fall:
O, it came o’er my ear like the sweet sound,
That breathes upon a bank of violets,
Stealing and giving odour! Enough; no more:
’Tis not so sweet now as it was before.
Hm. Nope. I mean I can see how it would fit but the strain and the dying and the sickening and the sweetness just aren't there.
Last night, the Sharks' ECHL affiliates, past and present, met in San Jose. They have met before, many times, but this was a new experience for both of them.
It was bound to happen, the Stockton Thunder was unlikely to keep losing to the San Francisco Bulls. When two teams meet as often as these do, they will figure each other out and the team that has lost the first three matches will probably find a way to win one. The teams will have a chance to get to know each other even better- they have nine more games to play. It's just too bad for the Bulls that their first loss to Stockton happened in San Jose. The final score was 6-4 Stockton.
The Bulls had a day to rest after a quick but rough road trip. From Thursday's OT win against Stockton, they rode to Ontario to be brutally defeated Friday, then drove back north to Bakersfield to win handily Saturday night.
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Tags: echl, jordan+morrison, lockout, marek+viedensky, mikael+tam, pat+curcio, ryane+clowe, san+francisco+bulls, scott+langdon, stockton+thunder, taylor+nelson, thomas+heemskerk
The SF Bulls (as the new San Jose Sharks affiliate), will be the home team when they face the Stockton Thunder (last year's Sharks affiliate) at the HP Pavilion in San Jose. The game is scheduled for Monday, December 17 at 7:30 pm. There will be free tickets available, even some for those without season tickets or ticket packages for the Sharks or the Bulls. General public tickets will be available Dec 12. Parking will be free in the HP lot on a first come-first serve basis. Bring a toy for Toys for Tots. They are the beneficiary of this event. Fans hungry for hockey will also get some relief.
Is this the beginning of a make whole arrangement with the fans? You can never make whole again, but you can try to make amends.
Last winter, I tried to fly out of Detroit in perfectly mild weather, but there was some insane fog in San Francisco, so my flight was canceled. It was rescheduled, and then that flight was delayed too. It was a big long foul-up. I found ways to kill about eight hours, but eventually was stuck sitting on the plane for two hours before it actually took off. What kept me calm during that last bit of waiting was this: anticipation that I would get a prize for my patience.
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 SF Bulls have won three of their last four games. They started the season with only two wins in their first ten. Of the eight after that, they've won four. I asked Pat Curcio what changed. He attributed the improvement partly to the fact that a new young team "takes some time to get accustomed." He also mentioned the latest round of roster moves:
"We wanted to be a young team, hard-working and ready to go to the next level. We made some moves that I thought were best for the team and so far so good."
Some comments floated around Twitter that echoed my own reaction to the high number of trades, releases and additions. On any given day there will be a good sized list of moves on the ECHL Transactions page. There are many factors at work here, and not only during a lockout. An ECHL team is limited to 20 active players and 2 on reserve, with an unlimited number on 21 day injured reserve. Any move will probably require a second. Curcio explained why the Bulls have made 14 moves in the last two weeks:
In a recent Economist, there's a piece about the NHL lockout. It's called "Greed v pride." My first thought was "yay hockey!" All publicity is good, like when someone says "I don't care what they write about me, so long as they spell my name right." My second thought was "who's who in the title there?" It really isn't clear. Neither side is hurting for money, not really, and both sides would like to tell the world that no one pushes them around. So who is greedy and who is proud?
"When muscular millionaires and brash billionaires fight, neither side will crumple easily. All are alpha males; most can forego income for a long time. So the lockout could drag on." Greed v pride, The Economist, Sept 22 2012
Makes sense to me.
Players are going overseas in droves, apparently. They aren't all getting for oodles of money to do so. Alex Semin, for example, chose the team closest to home. The team will pay him with change found under the couch cushions. His couch. Well, considering what he would have been paid without a lockout it seems that way.
I feel like I'm going through the stages of grief here. Just when I'm ready to move on to acceptance of the lockout, Douglas Murray smashes the NHLPA's nice PR record to bits with this explanation:
“It’s tough to explain. People see how much money we make and we have, but I would ask them what would you say if the owner of the company you work for would just come and tell you, ‘OK, we’re taking away 20 percent of your salary.’
“And you ask why, and they say I just want to make more money. I don’t think you’d be that happy. Most people would probably switch jobs or at least not be very happy in that work environment.” -Working the Corners
Ugh. I guess not everyone realizes companies have been doing just that-- asking employees to take pay cuts-- for years now. Maybe it isn't called a pay cut. Maybe it's pressure to become a partner and invest in the firm, even though you know you will have much less in your pocket at the end of the year. Maybe you're offered stock options instead of cash. One way or another, most of us are getting squeezed and switching jobs isn't so easy.
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.
Those who wage wars rarely fight them. That is something we all know but in the modern western world we like to forget how many people are subject to the whims of the fortunate few. Those facts don't jibe with our notion of the free pursuit of happiness and all that. We know it's a jungle out there but when folks get put out of work, have their lives tossed around like poker chips on a table they aren't even sitting at, it still stings.
Mark Purdy wrote a piece for the Mercury News about what an NHL lockout means for interested parties who are not involved in the negotiations. In it, he calls said interested parties "stakeholders." Wow but that sounds more mighty than it is. Satellite businesses may have a stake in NHL games, but I wouldn't say they hold that stake. It seems more like they can mine it until the real owner--the NHL-- shows up to put in a parking lot, or empty that lot by locking out the players. The people who choose to enter the conflict are rarely the ones who really get hurt. If they were, they might choose differently.
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.