Kukla's Korner

The Puck Stops Here

That Was Stupid

It appears that the 2012/13 lockout will come to an end.  A tentative agreement has been reached.  Both the owners and the players have a chance to vote on the agreement - so there is a chance that things will fall apart - but this isn't expected.

My reaction to all this is ... meh.  I wonder when and if I should bother going back to the NHL games.  I am sure that I probably will and that I won't like myself for it.  I love hockey and don't like the NHL and would love to find a way to see a divorce between the two.

We expect a shortened season.  There will be less time between games for players to recover.  It will probably lead to a low quality season worthy of an asterisk.

The highlights of the new agreement can be found at Puck Daddy.  This agreement is essentially what the NHL wanted all along.  They may not have totally broken the union but they got many concessions.  The owner's share of revenue grows significantly and in the end that was all that mattered.

From the fan point of view there is little here to be happy about.  The most significant difference to the fan is a limit in contract length and the variance in the amount of money a player can have in salary from year-to-year.  While the devil is in the details and we will likely learn that there are some significant details we have yet to realize.  It looks like things have been hastily agreed upon now that both sides are afraid of losing the season.  This agreement looks similar to what would have been available in late November except that both sides were not up against the deadline of a lost season yet.

I think the most likely change from the competitive balance standpoint is that there is little reason for top players to remain in second rate markets once they reach free agency.  Longterm, lifetime contracts had provided this incentive in the expired CBA and that is gone.  Now the best players will wind up in the best markets when they reach free agency.  This will hurt competitive balance.  I think this has been a desire for the league for a while.  It is not what they report publically, but it would be good for the league financially if the biggest markets had the star power and won most often.  It is bad for the fans of the lesser markets.

As long as fans come back again the NHL has no reason not to have another lockout after this agreement ends.  This one makes them a significant amount of money that they clawed back from the players.  The players still have little in the way of leverage in the future.  They seem to have been scared to take the logical step of decertification.  I think that will be the required step to break the chain of lockouts.  The lockout may have not gone as well as the NHL originally scripted it to go but it is clearly a good financial move for the league.

There may be media members stupid enough to claim that the players "won" because they will still make money under this agreement - just less than they would have without it.  Every major point in the new agreement is a concession to the league.  The "logic" to claim that players won this agreement is essentially this:  I go into a dark alley and meet a violent man who says he will slash my throat and cut off my arms and legs.  I negotiate him down to not slashing my throat and only cutting off one arm and one leg.  I must have "won" because I made him move from his initial position.  I still made significant concessions and got nothing in return.  It's a naive and silly position but many in the media will argue for it.

The countdown to the next lockout has begun.  The general managers are already hard at work trying to figure out how to circumvent this agreement.  Why should I be excited?

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink



I wonder when and if I should bother going back to the NHL games.

Why start now?

Posted by Garth on 01/06/13 at 04:05 PM ET


Either dont go back to any games or stop your pathetic whining…...nothing is worse than an attention whore.

Hockey is a business, the business side got ugly but they finally got it done…...move on.

Posted by cjack on 01/06/13 at 04:47 PM ET

PuckStopsHere's avatar

The business side has been ugly since before there was an NHL.  The problem is iuts ugliness has spilled over and affected the games.  Lockouts are the obvious way this has happened but its far from the only way.  Our championship teams of today are less elite than they have been in the past and this is a direction consequence of the business choices.

Posted by PuckStopsHere on 01/06/13 at 04:51 PM ET


Yawn…...then dont watch hockey anymore bud.

Ill be back watching because I love the game, and the business bullshit that just took half the season doesnt change that…...

Go watch basketball or something, you are not a true fan anyway if you feel the need to whine and threaten to possibly not watch.

For every clown like you that leaves, 5 will jump on the bandwagon once the season starts….so no loss.

Posted by cjack on 01/06/13 at 05:01 PM ET

PuckStopsHere's avatar

If you are correct that is what is wrong with the NHL. 

If 5 people are ready to jump in as fans whenever one leaves, the NHL learns that there is no reason not to have regular lockouts that hurt those fans.  The fans actually reward them for doing so in your picture.

I think it is reasonable to love hockey and dislike the NHL.  The NHL is not necessary to hockey - though it will be difficult to divorce the two at the top level right now.

Posted by PuckStopsHere on 01/06/13 at 05:04 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

you are not a true fan anyway if you feel the need to whine and threaten to possibly not watch.

Oh man do I hate this argument something fierce.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 01/06/13 at 05:09 PM ET



A true fan and a real MAN “just does”......

Too many “fans"are using their social media on the interweb and whining to “maybe” stop watching games,....trying to get attention and feel important. 

Nobody cares if you watch or not…...either do it and stfu or dont and stfu, stop being an attention whore….“hey look at me everybody, im mad at the nhl and might not watch games anymore….GRR”

Posted by cjack on 01/06/13 at 05:21 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

So what exactly are you doing here telling people how to be REAL men and REAL fans?

Shouldn’t you be off somewhere just DOING that?

Sounds to me more like a call for attention.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 01/06/13 at 05:26 PM ET


Umm…Kinda of hard to be “doing just that” bud…...no games yet.

When the games start up…. yes, I will be “just doing”.....going to the games and enjoying myself….while clowns like you sit at home thinking you are proving a point, but in reality….nobody cares about you or what you do….lol

Posted by cjack on 01/06/13 at 05:48 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

^^^ This is why the league locked us out. Too many fans fail to realize the responsibility of what they support with their purchases.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 01/06/13 at 05:59 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

So until the games actually start, it’s the charge of the REAL man and the REAL fan to whine about what somebody else does or doesn’t like to say online? That’s pretty emotional of you.

while clowns like you sit at home thinking you are proving a point

I’m not proving a point. You’re doing a pretty fantastic job of that for me.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 01/06/13 at 06:00 PM ET

calquake's avatar

A true fan and a real MAN “just does”......

Wow… two colossally stupid thoughts in one incomplete sentence.

Posted by calquake from a.k.a. Uniquake, workin' on my manifesto on 01/06/13 at 06:35 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

No true scotsman…..

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 01/06/13 at 06:43 PM ET

awould's avatar

A real MAN. Sheesh. Grow up, dude.

Posted by awould on 01/06/13 at 07:06 PM ET

The Hurricane's avatar

I think there is a deeper issue here that cjack is touching on…albeit in a more jocular way than is necessary. MANY of us blame the union. Many of us think that the very fact that you are playing the unionization ‘game’ NECESSARILY means that you will lock horns like we have….AGAIN…this year. It runs along a parallel with current political thought and we have to understand that 50% of the country doesn’t agree with us. 50% blame the unions, 50% blame Obama…50% blame Bettman…and 50% blame Bush…it’s the same old crap that many of us prayed to God would not actually infect the one place we can hide from the storm…our favorite sport.
So now, we go back to the trough…and many of us can’t wait to hear some of you stop bitching about Bettman and simply go back to debating no-touch icing and the latest Crosby meltdown.
I had to turn off tweets from people I respect the heck out of because allllllllll they did was whine and piss all over my phone. I don’t want that. I want to get back to agreeing with people for defending a Kronwall hit with people that voted to raise my taxes whom, on the streets, I would have a definite urge to ram my front bumper into their Obama12 sticker and shove it into their radiator backwards.
Hockey is my ONLY escape. NHL hockey is MINE, and OURS, and it’s back…greed and business on BOTH sides caused it, so everyone quit grandstanding and crack open a Yuengling. The Chief will let you know when all is lost, and he posted today that he is at least back, temporarily….and for some of us, it’s one step closer to everything being alright in an imperfect world….besides…Bettman didn’t build that.

Posted by The Hurricane on 01/06/13 at 07:25 PM ET

The Hurricane's avatar

...and by the way, the players, or you in your analogy, didn’t have to go into that dark alley….there are other alleys to explore where the risk is less. You just happen to like the one where there’s a shiny silver cup hidden under the trash and vomit soaked blankets. It’s all about the cup.

Posted by The Hurricane on 01/06/13 at 07:35 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

Posted by The Hurricane on 01/06/13 at 06:35 PM ET

Well… that was costive. 

1.) Did Barack Obama and union bashing really need to come into this? 

2.) Were the players supposed to let themselves get run over?  Labor gets the raw deal as a rule in our economic system as it is.  I fail to find fault with the players simply because they organized and defended their interests, nor do I see how the lockout was their fault.  They showed a willingness to compromise from the start. 

Anyway… don’t get me wrong.  I’m glad hockey is back too… and I’m even more glad that folks on KK can get back to important issues, such as what Sidney Crosby and Max Talbot do in their free time. 

I suggest that it would be easier to get back to that benighted state without anymore allusions to automotive vandalism or the insinuation that people who disagree with you want your taxes to go up.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 01/06/13 at 08:46 PM ET

The Hurricane's avatar

You prove my point.

Posted by The Hurricane on 01/06/13 at 09:08 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

Posted by The Hurricane on 01/06/13 at 08:08 PM ET

Other than your desire to get back to plain ol’ hockey, which I seconded; I don’t really see any how you made any other point unless you really want to split hairs between your Crosby/Kronwall scenarios.  The rest of your post just seemed like a lot of partisan belly aching that served the purpose you were decrying… which was my point.  Anyway… pointing out circular commentary is getting circular itself.  So I digress.

Cheers brother, hockey is back.


Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 01/06/13 at 09:35 PM ET

Tripwire32's avatar

I love hockey and don’t like the NHL and would love to find a way to see a divorce between the two.

i know, right.

hockey is back

Hockey has been here all along… or was that USA 3-1 victory over Sweden in Russia a rugby match

A true fan and a real MAN

I’m so glad there is someone sitting in judgment over me and is the authority to define “true” and “real”

Posted by Tripwire32 from Kay He Mar Heart on 01/07/13 at 10:37 AM ET

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About The Puck Stops Here

imageThe Puck Stops Here was founded during the 2004/05 lockout as a place to rant about hockey. The original site contains over 1000 posts, some of which were also published on FoxSports.com.

Who am I? A diehard hockey fan.

Why am I blogging? I want to.

Why are you reading it? ???

Email: y2kfhl@hotmail.com