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Bill Daly’s trying to cut a sympathetic managerial figure, and it won’t work

A day after delicately sending a barb toward player agent Ian Walsh that painted all hockey fans expressing their anger at a probable lockout with the same brush, during a conversation with ESPN's Craig Custance...

"We understood going into this that the landscape was going to be different with the prevalence of social media. But that fact has not and will not affect our approach to collective bargaining," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly wrote in an email. "Ultimately, our job is to negotiate an agreement that will make the league and the clubs stable and healthy, so that we can continue to invest in the business and grow the business for the benefit of all of the stakeholders in the game, including the players and our fans. We do not intend to abdicate that responsibility in reaction to uninformed ramblings on Twitter."

The NHL's deputy commissioner tossed off the sort of sniffly, woe-is-us-thanks-to-the-CBA-I-wrote commentary we should come to expect on an almost every-day basis in speaking to the Associated Press--prior to news breaking that the NHL and PA will be meeting today (while 350 players gather at the Mariott in New York for two days' worth of player meetings and the Board of Governors prepare to authorize a lockout on Thursday in NYC)

The hastily scheduled negotiating session for Wednesday came just hours after NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said owners and players were both to blame for their failure to reach a new collective bargaining agreement before current deal expires on Saturday.

Daly wrote in an email to The Associated Press on Tuesday that he hoped both sides would meet before Saturday, but didn't sound optimistic it would happen.

"To this point, we have received no indication that the union has anything new to say to us. And right now, we have nothing new to say to them," he wrote Tuesday. "It's unfortunate, but it's the reality of the situation."

That changed Tuesday night. Whether the restart of talks will lead to a quick resolution remains to be seen. The NHL's labour contract expires at midnight Saturday night, and a lockout seems likely. It would be the league's fourth work stoppage since 1992.

"Ultimately, we just want to negotiate a fair deal that will give all our clubs an ability to be stable and healthy," Daly wrote. "We hoped (and still hope) we can do that without causing any interruption to the upcoming season. Logic would have suggested we would have been able to. The fact that we haven't yet is extremely disappointing, and is a failure for which we both must share blame."

[sarcasm] Oh thank goodness, now I get to sleep soundly knowing that the NHL feels a weeeeeeee bit of "blame"-sharing is in order... [/sarcasm]

I'm just going to quote the AP here while you consider the concept of "fairness" given that Daly really did all but author the last CBA while NHLPA turncoat Ted Saskin nodded along:

Industry revenue has grown from $2.1 billion to $3.3 billion annually under the expiring deal. Owners asked players to cut their share of hockey related revenue from 57 to 43 per cent, and then modified their offer to 46 per cent during a six-year proposal. Players are concerned management hasn't addressed its problems by re-examining the teams' revenue-sharing format.

The sides haven't had a full bargaining session since Aug. 31 and the strife is threatening regular-season openers scheduled to start Oct. 11. The preseason schedule is set to begin on Sept. 19.

An 11-day strike in April 1992 caused 30 games to be postponed, and a 103-day lockout in 1994-95 caused the cancellation of 468 games and delayed the season's start until Jan. 20. The 2004 lockout started Sept. 16 when training camps were to open, as they are this year, and wasn't settled until July 13.

Daly will become the NHL's point man--and the NHL's chief BS-spewer--in terms of PR as the lockout begins, just as he played the, "Good cop, crazy cop" act when NHL commissioner Gary Bettman wasn't staring down his nose at reporters during press conferences, but have no doubt that the man who looks like Chairman Mao's bouncer is just as big a bully, and just as dangerous in trying to take brass knuckles to the PA to claw back "hockey-related revenues" from the players.

He's a thug, and both Daly and Chairman Mao represent the tip of a stupid, greedy spear of NHL owners who are ready to lock out players and fans alike for the sake of greed. As Yahoo Sports' Greg "Puck Daddy" Wyshynski pointed out on Monday, there's simply no such thing as a sports league where each and every one of its teams make money, ever, and especially given that a salary cap and payroll range driven by league-wide revenues will always be driven upward by the league's biggest money-making teams, any and every CBA the NHL proposes will tie the league to an "inflationary spiral of player salaries" that it will attempt to claw into, again and again.

And just as ESPN's Scott Burnside suggested that Gary Bettman as "driving the bus" representing the wishes of the majority of the NHL's Board of Governors, and as such, the NHL's 30 owners' wishes--a "short bus" at that--Daly's working the pedals for the NHL's Napoleon, with the league set to go off the rails onto the stupidity train tracks for the third time under Bettman's tenure.

But what do I know? I'm one of those uninformed ramblers.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink


Joe Z.'s avatar

....the business for the benefit of all of the stakeholders in the game, including the players and our fans. We do not intend to abdicate that responsibility in reaction to uninformed ramblings on Twitter

arrogant piece of…, there should be a NHL boycott untill he and bettman are fired.


Posted by Joe Z. from Austria on 09/12/12 at 08:58 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Hey Bill Daly! FUCH YOU!!!

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 09/12/12 at 09:02 AM ET

WingedRider's avatar

Amazing how Buttman and Bobin have such high profile careers and have no communication skills, personalities and obviously show their arrogance quite freely.

Pretty sad that some good owners hired these assholes!  I still feel that the only way to stop these mobsters is a fitting of Cement boots and a short swimming lesson in the deep end of a already polluted cesspool.

Honestly how can the owners condone these tools pissing off their fans or do they care.  Remember us Wing Fans have put Ilitch on a pretty lofty pedestal.  Maybe he is a more eloquent Ed Snider??

I thought my anger at this mess had subsided, guess not!


Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 09/12/12 at 10:27 AM ET


“We understood going into this that the landscape was going to be different with the prevalence of social media. But that fact has not and will not affect our approach to collective bargaining,”

I’m not sure that the above quote, which basically says that they know which side most of the public is on and they don’t care, really constitutes trying to cut a sympathetic figure.

Posted by Garth on 09/12/12 at 10:54 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Posted by Garth on 09/12/12 at 10:54 AM ET

I don’t think Daly is trying to find sympathy with the fans, but rather with the media.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 09/12/12 at 11:08 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

Daly will be milking those plays for media sympathy with promises to leak news, too, so I would expect those who played nicer and got more scoops as a result last time around (Pierre LeBrun is a great example—he may be a wonderful writer and reporter with serious-ass integrity, but man, can he toe a line when asked to float a “thought balloon” about, say, staged fights being the bane of the NHL’s existence), and those who have more at stake in terms of reshuffling that pecking order, to line up their purple prose and electronic vials of crocodile’s tears.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 09/12/12 at 11:14 AM ET

AndrewFromAnnArbor's avatar

Eh.  The Detroit Red Wings were around long before the NHL.  They’ll be around long after it too.

Posted by AndrewFromAnnArbor from Fortress Europe on 09/12/12 at 12:39 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.