by Joe Tasca on 10/17/12 at 09:00 PM ET
Canucks blogger Tom Benjamin offers his take on the NHL's latest proposal:
The players have been put in a very difficult position. So far the public has been on their side for the most part. The league – and Gary Bettman – have taken more than a few lumps in the media. But if there has been a single thread throughout the media coverage it is that a 50-50 split of the revenues is both fair and inevitable. That’s all Bettman has cared about until this point.
Bettman’s position is suddenly reasonable – fair and inevitable even – only because he started negotiations from a ridiculous spot. Never mind the fact that he is demanding that the players (in the aggregate) take a 12% paycut when business is booming. The tide of public opinion will turn if the players don’t take their lumps now...
My interests are best served if the players fold, but I can’t blame them – I’ll even admire them a little – if they choose to fight.
As Benjamin notes, the players are under a lot of pressure. If a deal isn't reached over the next seven days, hundreds of men who make their living playing a kid's game will be vilified by reporters and fans alike. At the same time, Donald Fehr will solidify his reputation as a season killer.
Gary Bettman is clearly trying to force the players' hand, but there's just no way Fehr buckles. He was hired for a reason, and it wasn't to capitulate when the kitchen starts to warm up.
While I won't profess to have inside information on when the lockout's going to end, I do know it's not going to be in October. If it was going to be that easy, we'd be playing hockey games right now.
Instead, we're just playing games.
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About Tasca's Take
Tasca's Take is written by Joe Tasca. Born and raised in Westerly, Rhode Island, Joe works as a broadcaster for seven radio stations in southern New England. Whether that's a testament to his on-air ability or because he has a desparate need for money is debatable.
Joe spends his summers playing golf, enjoying the beauty of Misquamicut Beach, and wining and dining girls who are easily awed by the mere presence of a radio personality. During the winter months, he can usually be found taking in a hockey game somewhere in North America. In the spring, he spends much of his time in botanical gardens tiptoeing through the tulips, while autumn is a time to frolic with his golden retrievers through piles of his neighbors’ leaves.