Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Who’s got the lockout crack?

With two full days' worth of Red Wings catching-up to do for this blog and two days' worth of CBA rhetoric to catch up on for the job that's probably going to become my main occupation when the Red Wings go on "hiatus," and none of that work getting done tonight...

I'm going to try to put this in a way that won't cost me my job.

I am, first and foremost, a fan of the Detroit Red Wings and their players. Even though I'm strongly supporting the NHLPA in this labor dispute, as I did in 2004 and as I did in 1994, I think it's pretty bloody important for most every NHL and NHLPA member to understand the point of view that the backbone of their $3.3 billion industry generally comes from:

We tend to want both players, owners and everyone in between to make money. As supporters of a professional sports league, we want everyone from the concessions worker serving us overpriced hot dogs at the Joe to Henrik Zetterberg, Ken Holland and Mike and Marian Ilitch--and everyone in between--to earn their living, regardless of how proportionate or disproportionate it is to the rest of society, based upon the cutting up of the bucks of discretionary income we willingly hand over to you.

This is generally true for most fans. We want our players to make money, we want our teams to make money, shit, we want Gary Bettman to get paid his $8 million to be an asshat and ensure that every four months, the NHL sends out press releases stating that business online, business in terms of retail sales, business in terms of sponsorships and business in terms of ticket sales have never been better, and that records are being set left and right with the money we're willing to pay to follow a sport that serves as community, coping mechanism, vicarious living experience, passion, joy, pastime, identity and sometimes borderline religion for so many people all around the world.

And yet we find ourselves being told by the ownership that the collective bargaining agreement the league literally wrote for itself--with NHLPA sycophant and Benedict Arnold Ted Saskin nodding along as he and Bill Daly wrote it, while Gary Bettman and Bob Goodenow were absent from the room in 2004 and 2005--the collective bargaining agreement which ensures that players make no more than 57-and-change cents on our dollars, the CBA worth burning down the village to save it from itself only eight short years ago, which made amends for the CBA the owners burnt the village down for half a season to save it from itself eighteen years ago (there has been no strike under Bettman's reign: the players struck under John Ziegler's tenure as commissioner, in 1992, to get a bigger share of the then-blossoming trading card industry's appearance fee cut)...

Being told by Gary Bettman, the elected representative for the NHL's 30 owners via the Board of Governors, that this CBA is somehow untenable, and that it may in fact be necessary to turn players, fans and game-night employees away for a fourth time to burn the village down in order to save it yet again.

Why?

Well, if you believe Bettman's bluster over the last month or so, because the players don't get it.

Which sounds far too similar to the kind of logic being employed by far too many powerful men in political positions to suggest that all sorts of things can be excused because the people who hold the cards possess some sort of innate sense of context that no one else can hope to attain.

It is the players, the owners' representative says, who are holding the game and its fans hostage, the players who are "stonewalling," who are grandstanding, the players who the owners' representative told us have salaries directly tied to an "inflationary spiral" surrounding ticket prices--which turned out to be a big, fat, cunningly-crafted lie about the dynamics of supply and demand, a.k.a. "We charge as much for tickets as we can get away with, irrespective of how much we pay the 'talent' we charge you to see play on our stages"--the players who are going to be responsible for a third lockout under Gary Bettman's reign as the Board of Governors' unquestioned, unchallenged representative of their best interests...

Because, if we are to believe the owners, the current system, the system they authored, is untenable.

Why? In reality? Why, as Ed Snider sneers at Donald Fehr and the players after tossing $110 million at Shea Weber, why, as Craig Leipold cries poor after spending $196 million on Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, why, as Jim Rutherford sits at the negotiating table one minute and pays Alex Semin $7 million the next, and why, as the man who serves as the Detroit Red Wings' governor approves the Wings' star-studded envoy dispatched to Suter's farm with one comment, and offers Howard Berger, "Very easy to cancel, very easy, believe me!" regarding shutting his paying fans out of a season that should include an asterisk on the Winter Classic* logo to indicate "*if necessary" with his next public comment?

Because the owners don't want to share, and because the owners believe that a rollback of between 19 to 24% in salaries and further restrictions on entry-level deals and restricted and unrestricted free agency, i.e. player mobility, will make amends for a business whose 30-team plan ain't workin' quite right.

Because that kind of give-back from the players will buy the owners temporary stability until Bettman, who idolizes the NFL and NBA's business plans--and who was probably all but inevitably likely to lock the players out one NFL and NBA fans accepted lockouts as a collective bargaining casualty of course--can somehow sell the league to a number of TV and online broadcast partners who can subsidize enough of the league's payrolls that revenue-sharing will be irrelevant.

And what do the players get in exchange for their "bailout" and the restrictions on their mobility?

Other than the opportunity to play a full 2012-2013 season?

A guarantee that the owners will be back five-to-eight years from now, insisting that a $4.5 billion industry which pays its players 40-some cents on the dollar can no longer continue under its present business model, which just happens to include an ineffectual revenue-sharing plan carried over from the 2004-2005 CBA.

A rollback in salaries isn't going to keep Phoenix from hemorrhaging money. A rollback in salaries isn't going to make the Florida Panthers any more profitable.

And a rollback in salaries, over time, is going to do jack and shit for the Nashville Predators and Buffalo Sabres, because any league-enforced"payroll range" determined by an averaging of league-wide revenues, and especially any payroll range with a particularly thin "range" between "floor" and "ceiling," will be driven upward--in an inflationary spiral--by the league's most profitable franchises, especially in a league whose ticket prices have little to no relationship with player payrolls.

If the Red Wings, Maple Leafs, Rangers, Bruins and Flyers don't want to share any more of their hard-earned bucks with the Phoenixes or Floridas of the world now, and if the fundamental shift in economics which the last CBA ushered in isn't doing the job of keeping the have-nots afloat, what amounts to a gigantic band-aid applied to an innately flawed 30-team model will not salve nor solve the 30-team model's fundamental problems over the long haul.

With that in mind, can you blame the players for not lining up with their wallets open, regardless of whether their give-backs are being directly demanded or are tweaked and twisted through escrow withholdings that won't be returned (my imaginary statement made by Jeremy Jacobs when the NHL offered its second CBA proposal: "I bet none of these kids knows how to use a slide-rule!") and will instead allow owners to play twister with the tax man.

"You're asking us to bail you out. Why?"

"Because the business model is flawed."

"So why don't you address the fundamental problems plaguing your ineffectual revenue-sharing model?"

"Uh..."

"How about since we gave back 24% of our salaries last time, we give back a couple hundred million for a couple of years, you address the revenue-sharing issue, and then we see where that gets us?"

"Bu that's not like the NFL or NBA! Stonewalling! Lockout! Lockout! You asked for it! And you have cooties!"

"We still don't see the point in giving back a big chunk of our salaries or surrendering mobility if you're offering us nothing in return, other than the promise that you're gonna do this all over again."

"Okay, we'll get Bettman out to the microphones, he'll sigh wistfully and say, I wish I had good news...That gets those suckers every time! And you can go play in post-Soviet Russia!"

"Let me guess, 'You take all the risk'..."

"Right, and look at how much Marc Savard earns to sit at home!"

"Functionally disabled by a career-ending injury, likely dealing with cognitive impairments that he'll struggle with for the rest of his life, yes, what a sucker he's made of you."

"STONEWALL, STONEWALL!"

Look, I'm not about to suggest that the players are "good guys" and that the league's made up of "bad guys." When millionaires and billionaires are arguing over how to spend $3.3 billion dollars, there are only varying degrees of culpability when the fans and the people who depend on those 41 home games' worth of work, whether it's at the rink, at the local restaurant or at the shop selling Red Wings jerseys who are the ones getting really screwed.

But there is one side whose collective bargaining strategy can even make sense to the "working man," and then there are the owners and Chairman Mao himself, who make it look like they've spent the last six months practicing negotiating tactics with boardrooms full of MacFarlane Sports figures, Rally Al's and stuffed player dolls.

What the *#$%@& do you expect anyone to say when their employer's only rationale behind, "We can't be paying them so much money" is the ownership group's greed, the ownership group's short-sightedness, and the ownership group's belief that it can break a union whose leadership group no longer consists of a bulldog who refused to keep his players informed and some lieutenants who got out while the gettin' was good, but instead, a union whose members are active, involved with and kept aware of collective bargaining discussions, and a union whose membership agree that being asked to hand over their wallets via a prostate exam for no tangible benfit doesn't sound like a good deal?

Bettman and the NHL's Board of Governors aren't just being arrogant--they're acting like spoiled schoolyard bullies, not business titans, and given the purple nature of Bettman's prosaic whimpering to the media, they're acting like the belles of the ball are turning down their invitations to go to the prom, not players agreeing to a colonoscopy in search of hidden twenty dollar bills.

And those of us who have been here before as fans--some of us twice--and have come back because we still love to follow, and spend money on, the players and teams that we love so much, are asking whether there might be other places to spend those $3.3 billion of discretionary income, especially given that this lockout-as-a-matter-of-course business, never mind the NHL's method of collective bargaining negotiations under Bettman's guidance (and the Board of Governors' seemingly unwaivering support thereof) all but ensure that we will be talking about lockouts #4 and #5 in our lifetime?

Both sides may be acting stupidly and brashly in taking their fans' loyalties, passions and money for granted, but at least one side has admitted that they're wary of tempting common and corporate hands alike that feed them. The other insists that "the world's greatest fans" allow them to justify any course of action.

Somebody's certainly "asking" for ridicule, and it's Bettman and each and every one of the ownership groups whose Board of Governors representatives will doubtlessly agree to lock out the players they're going to welcome into their rinks over the next week come September 15th.

 

Now I'm going to bed, as I usually do these days, angry and astonished at the levels of stupidity being displayed by the people I've elected, the people I'm going to vote for, the people I'm not going to vote for and the people whose sports league I spend the vast majority of my time following and supporting as it's my job, my passion, my livelihood, my community of fellow fans, and in the case of this mentally ill but very sane person, my coping mechanism (speaking of which, Gary, there are a wide variety of mood stabilizers and antipsychotics that could make you a happier, more functional person...I can recommend some good psychiatrists...).

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Comments

Hockeytown Wax's avatar

dayum George ... if that wasn’t a Bill Maher-esque ‘New Rules’ type rave I don’t know what was.

The part that pisses me off most about this whole situation is not that its billionaire owners and millionaire players arguing about how to split our (the fans) money, its the fact we fans have no representation at these proceedings.  It is, after all our money they’re arguing over.  Once said cash leaves our hands, we then lose all say in who gets how much ??

It’s time to strengthen team “fan clubs” and unionize, and demand representation at all contract negotiations hence forth.  Each teams “fan club” can send 3 delegates ... each teams “fan club” gets one collective vote, etc. etc. ... kinda like a political convention.  Nobody leaves the room until the issue at hand is settled.  No more of this one day a week for 2 hours bullshit.  If everyone is trapped in the same room for 3 days straight then so be it.

One of these days the players are going to throw up their hands and say “*#$%@& it !!  We can’t play for this ass-wipe anymore” and just walk away from the NHL permanently.  That’ll teach Bettman and the owners a lesson once & for all.  No players ... no league ... no money.  Go ahead ... put all the guys from the Griffins in a Red Wings sweater and see how that goes over.

It’s a fantastic game when played properly and the refs are invisible.  It’s a proverbial utopia when the commissioner and his flunkies are invisible as well.  It becomes ugly when the business side of “the game” is exposed and we become aware that, not only is there a players union but, we know who each teams player rep is.

CBA negotiations take all of the fun out of the game.  If anything, they raise the frustration level to new highs because we can’t participate.  We can’t walk into a meeting and look Bettman square in the eyes and tell him to go *#$%@& himself ... or maybe “I want my money back you rich *#$%@& !!!”

When the lockout happens will I still follow hockey ??  Absolutely.  I am a fan of the game, not just our beloved Red Wings, and i’ll make as much time as possible to find some online streams from overseas.

When Bettman said he’s not afraid of a lockout doing damage to the league because hockey fans are the most loyal fans ... well that just pissed me off even more.  He basically called all NHL fans sheep, blindly following a sport regardless of the underlying politics.

I’ve been saying the same thing for many years now and i’ll say it again ... Kiss my ass Gary !!!!!  You’re fired !!!!

Posted by Hockeytown Wax from West Bloomfield, Mi. on 09/01/12 at 03:40 AM ET

creasemonkey's avatar

I’ll get behind sending Spaghetti-Os to both the NHL and NHLPA offices. It makes sense about as much as a lockout.

Posted by creasemonkey from sweet home san diego on 09/01/12 at 06:51 AM ET

NIVO's avatar

Im really pissed the league keeps making a point to put their financial woes on the PA. The players have nothing to do with HOW you run your business side of things, you dumb !$#^&^!!%^*$*(&$#@ NHL! They sign a contract and play, and to the best of their abilities abide by the rules set in place. Quit putting your business ethic problems on them, you offered the contracts, you make the day to day operations decisions. Now stand by them and die by them! Let’s have a hypothetical here: The NHL and the PA go 50%-50% split on revenue share(thats the players cutting back 7%, and yes i know that number will be adjusted from a true 7%). Then the PA says ok now, equal share, go fix your own damn business model, its not our problem, we dont own the team. All we do is play. It does not matter which year this is, how the economy is doing, how much growth/revenue the league has made. This problem wont effing go away. Like i said we are gonna see this every 5,6,7 years(or however long agreements are for). It will never go away until they(owners) figure out how to grow their own enterprise as a business. One place you could start is by not approving people or groups of people that barely meet the buy price of a team. Look at Jamison trying to buy the Coyotes. He still has to come up with money just to get the deal done. Is the right kind of owner you wanna bring into a league? Hell no, because this is the reason why some teams struggle as it is. They dont have enough backing from the start. This is where you look first, when a team is up for sale. No more people who buy that are scraping by the sale price. This people have to have XXX amount of equity with proof before a deal is done.

Ok i got off my point for a moment, but really the business part of the ownership business needs to be taken out of the CBA as their crutch. The players have nothing to do with that. The only attachment is the salary, and that is offered by the business. They can always say “NO” when a player asks for XXX amount. They never said NO because of fear that another team owner would say yes. This is why we have a salary cap. Owners compete, nothing illegal here by paying more than another team might have. At the same time they are the ones that are behind the increase of player contracts going up. You just threw money at everyone and didnt think what it would do to your bottom line and now you want your money back…........again…................and then some. Its YOUR job to change your business model to make your money/investments work for you. Dont blame players.


And I’ll say it again. F-E-D-E-R-A-L M-E-D-I-A-T-O-R like it or not, this may be the only way people still have an income. And im not talking about players/owners here.

Posted by NIVO from underpants gnome village on 09/01/12 at 07:33 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

It’s hilarious that Bettman claims the players don’t get it when this time around, they get it much better than they ever have.

The players “got” your 2nd offer, Gary. They get what it means when you say you’re not going to lower salaries, but you’re going to lower the players’ share and set a hard cap that redefines your revenue as $370M lower, despite that $370M still being there.

It means you’re lowering their salaries, but doing it at the end of the season instead of the beginning.  They get it.

Still, the fake grandstanding by the players is getting old. Of course I think this is more the owners’ fault than the players and I think a CBA agreement that looks pretty much like the current one (with salary floor, revenue sharing, AAV, and a whole host of minor problems fixed) is more “fair” than anything the owners have proposed yet.

But the entire “we just want to play hockey and we’ll do so on September 15 if Gary lets us” crap is disingenuous at best and a flat lie at worst.  Frankly, I’m getting enough of the “it’s ok if the party I’m rooting for speaks out of both sides of its mouth because at least they lie less than/are less evil than the opposition” from plenty of other sources to keep putting up with it during the hockey negotiations.

I also think it’s naive to take everything any player or Fehr says in good faith as though their interests are somehow broader and it’s flat out sad to take any criticism of a player or the players as some sort of support for the owners.

In the case of “well what the *#$%@& do I expect anybody to say” (since you and I both know where that came from) in situations like this: well, “nothing about that” is a viable answer.  Like I said earlier, the NHL owners and players don’t particularly care about which side the fans come out of this thinking are the bad guys.

Except they probably do to the extent that both the owners’ and the players’ best interest is that the fans come out of this thinking the players are the good guys. So the players putting public pressure to rile up fans by “championing for the little guy” because at least SOMEBODY IS THINKING OF THE CHILDREN is either not helping the negotiations at all, and could very well be hurting them (especially in cases where individual players are flat-out saying Gary Bettman’s after a lockout… because poking at the ego of that *#$%@& egomaniac is sure to be the best way to get things done).

Even more scary than the players are hurting themselves by firing off at the mouth about this is the idea that this is essentially nothing more than lockout-fodder dinner theater to make sure that we’re all on point that when the NHLPA eventually “wins” the negotiation (by getting the hard-as-granite evil league to agree to only take back $200M from the players instead of $400M) and that we’ll all be more than happy to flock back into our seats because the “good guys” won and they’re the people we actually pay to see.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 09/01/12 at 07:35 AM ET

BrendonR's avatar

It’s time to strengthen team “fan clubs” and unionize

Posted by Hockeytown Wax

I’m actually all for this idea, even though I can’t stand labour unions.  This would be an Association, not a real ‘Union’ per se; there’s nothing like a good lockout to bring usually-at-eachother’s-throats fans together.  It would be super easy to develop and organize the Red Wings contingent of this right here at KK.  We would have 19 people ready and willing to go right away.

George, I think its time we started taking this idea seriously in the framework of a formal Association represented by fans of each team.  We all have the same shared goal League-wide: play some damn hockey and take our damn money for it!  I can think of no better person to get the ball rolling than yourself, articulating the issues while the Chief serves as our spiritual leader on the DRW side of things.  What do you think?

Posted by BrendonR on 09/01/12 at 07:43 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

http://www.nhlfa.com/

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 09/01/12 at 07:48 AM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

I think I heard Noam Chomsky say in an interview once that if Americans would turn the same passion and intellectual vigor to the world around that they bring to sport, the world could be a much better place. 

Nice piece, George. 

Posted by MoreShoot on 09/01/12 at 08:36 AM ET

Avatar

If only anybody that gave a shit cared.

But they don’t.

So there are two alternatives here: 1) People keeping yowling and screeching about ‘the greedy owners’ ‘the idiot commish’ or ‘the greedy players’ in some weighted manner or another to literally no effect beyond raising their own blood pressure, or 2) Just forget about all these idiots and go watch something else for the months/years until the NHL comes back.

Note that neither option will impact how things proceed in any real way, but at least one of them doesn’t generate so much angst.

What I’m going to do for the next few months is go see some Whalers games and U of M games (for my money much better live-game options than NHL hockey anyway), and keep half an eye on the negotiations.

Seriously.  If this stuff makes you so upset and creates so much agita, let it go.  Instead of doing 5 3000 word posts each day about the same crap, George, how about interviewing a couple 17 year old kids from the Whalers and doing some human-interest stuff.

Or, heck, continue to self-immolate in impotent fury.  Seems like a crappy way to live, though.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 09/01/12 at 08:55 AM ET

Hank1974's avatar

If every blogger, writer, and fan truly wanted this lockout to end soon, everyone would simply stop writing, blogging, reading and watching anything hockey related.
For 1 week, every media outlet should go entirely ‘BLACK’.
No coverage whatsoever.

I guarantee you that would send a very loud message to both sides that a deal should be made, and CAN be made before September 15th.

I will attempt to put my money where my mouth is and do the same.
Starting now, I will not read one article, watch one news segment or visit one hockey related blog until next Saturday.

I don’t wish to take food out of any blogger or writer’s mouth, but if all us truly love this game and want don’t want to see it take another hiatus, then I feel drastic measures need to be taken.

Good day.
Hank

Posted by Hank1974 on 09/01/12 at 09:04 AM ET

DetroitHockey's avatar

The problem with fan clubs and the like is that they’ll never actually be able to have any power.

I used to be a big NHLFA supporter.  I donated what I could in their early fundraising drives.  But the thing I came to realize - and one of the Jims recently said as much in an interview - is that the organization can only have as much power as the league lets it.

The minute the NHLFA pisses off the league, the league stops interacting with them and pulls their right to use the NHL trademark.  Fan organizations aren’t protected like labor organizations are, so the league is not required to listen to anything they say or do anything about their concerns.

All a fan organization has the power to do is organize a “fan strike,” but even that will never work.  There’s a Catch 22 of sorts here.  We’re mad about the coming lockout because we want NHL hockey.  The only way to be heard is for all of us to ignore NHL hockey.  It’s not going to happen.  Like in 2005, the fans will come back bitching and moaning but, by and large, they will come back.

We can talk about grand gestures but our own fandom make us powerless here.  If you’re not a fan, the NHL doesn’t care about you because they weren’t going to get your money.  If you are a fan, the NHL doesn’t care about you because they know they can count on getting your money.  The fans just do not matter in this.

Even “going black” for now doesn’t matter because everyone would come back once games started being played, which is when the league really makes its money.  Basically, all we can do is decide if we want to be driven by bitterness or apathy over the whole deal.

Posted by DetroitHockey on 09/01/12 at 09:30 AM ET

Baroque's avatar

I’m past caring, really. 41 regular season games times, say, 3 hours each time spent watching is 123 hours of my life that I can’t spend on other things that I would rather do. That’s more than three full work weeks.

I have too many hobbies I want to pursue, books I want to read, time to spend with friends and family to waste that much time sitting in front of a screen watching a game that I have become more bored with over the last couple of years. More often than not it was on as background noise, but couldn’t hold my interest when anything else was going on, and it certainly isn’t worth scheduling around to avoid time conflicts.

The players and owners will argue over their billions, the owners will get most of what they want, the NHL will probably start up again around the new year, and I’ll be one of many who might or might not pay attention to it if we don’t have anything else going on, like a concert or dinner with family and friends or going to a movie or taking a class or any of a number of other things.

My time on the planet is limited and I want to spend my free time doing things I enjoy, not things that feel like an obligation. Whatever happens, happens, and I don’t care much what the end result is. Meh.

Posted by Baroque from Michigan on 09/01/12 at 09:33 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Or, heck, continue to self-immolate in impotent fury.  Seems like a crappy way to live, though.

Ok.

What I’m going to do for the next few months is go see some Whalers games and U of M games (for my money much better live-game options than NHL hockey anyway), and keep half an eye on the negotiations.

Does that mean less time spent telling other people how they should feel?

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 09/01/12 at 09:41 AM ET

RWBill's avatar

Regarding “fan” input this is little different than GM and the UAW in the old days.  The customers, rightly, had no input to the negotiations and terms between the unions and the Big Three.

We hockey fans, like auto consumers and customers, have choices.  Saturn owners were loyal as heck, and remain so. They had a choice if Saturn production was shut down, but usually opted to wait until they could buy a Saturn.

Hockey fans can choose to go to football or basketball games instead, or nothing, but when hockey returns so will we fans, in big numbers, regardless of whatever the contentious issues are between players and owners that will eventually be settled.

Posted by RWBill from Brush Street cruising with Super Creepy Rob Lowe. on 09/01/12 at 09:48 AM ET

RWBill's avatar

Lidstrom the #5 all time NHL Captain?  That seems maybe high.

What about Yzerman?

Posted by RWBill from Brush Street cruising with Super Creepy Rob Lowe. on 09/01/12 at 09:53 AM ET

Baroque's avatar

Does that mean less time spent telling other people how they should feel?

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 09/01/12 at 10:41 AM ET

More like telling George what he should write on his blog. raspberry

Probably most fans will come back, some won’t, the sport will pick up a few more after a year or so post-lockout, pretty much what happened before. Each person will make their own choice based on their own interests and lives. I hope that there will be a lot less of the “you aren’t a true fan if you do/don’t do [something]” after the lockout, though. It’s a major turn off to anyone new getting involved in the sport to think that there is some special knowledge they must have before they are accepted into the group. Like hazing.

Posted by Baroque from Michigan on 09/01/12 at 10:10 AM ET

BrendonR's avatar

http://www.nhlfa.com/

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 09/01/12 at 08:48 AM ET

I mean, like, an actual association that does actual things; I’m definitely aware of the NHLFA.  what needs to happen is a boycott of not the NHL, but a series of petitions boycotting the NHL’s sponsors and NHL.com.  And it shouldn’t be aimed at Little Gary or Bill Daly, but at John Collins.  Someone with some computer savvy should find a way to get lists of season ticket holders and get some signatures from them in particular.  Then, when Gary and Fehr hold court after negotiations, a rep should get in there and hold court with some reporters on how the fans are targeting the NHL’s sponsors and advertisers until this is resolved.  Not taking the owners or players side, this would be a voice for the fan’s side.  With enough organization the media, at least here in Toronto, would definitely take notice and give air time to such things.  Screw the NHLFA, we could do it right and in a meaningful way.

Posted by BrendonR on 09/01/12 at 10:21 AM ET

Avatar

Does that mean less time spent telling other people how they should feel?

You seem to have a continued and persistent inability to understand what I’m saying, JJ.

Is it intentional, or do you just suck at reading? smile

For example, what did I say that actually told people how they should feel?  Absolutely nothing.  All I did was try to counsel the people who are giving themselves ulcers over this crap to explore some other options.

If people absolutely have to go ape-shit nuts over this stuff and froth at the mouth in outrage and disgust, hey, it’s a free country.  There are a few other options out there though.

More like telling George what he should write on his blog.

God forbid anyone suggest some alternatives to attempt #27 at yowling about a couple groups of people who don’t give a crap about you to a group of people that can’t do anything about it.

Good call!

I guarantee you that would send a very loud message to both sides that a deal should be made, and CAN be made before September 15th.

No way.  I bet if the pre-eminent hockey bloggers from every city stood chained together on the edge of the Golden Gate Bridge, explained to the nearby cameras why Bettman and the Owners were wrong, and then all jumped to their deaths it wouldn’t move the needle an iota.

 

Posted by HockeyinHD on 09/01/12 at 10:30 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

No, I understand what you’re saying just fine. You seem to have a problem understanding what you’re saying.

To give counseling, especially in consideration of their feelings is, by its very definition to tell people how to feel. Your grasp on synonyms seems to be, to borrow a phrase, mediocre at best.

If people absolutely have to go ape-shit nuts over this stuff and froth at the mouth in outrage and disgust, hey, it’s a free country.  There are a few other options out there though.

If people want to hop on their high-horse and counsel people who haven’t asked for that counsel so they can talk down to people, hey, it’s a free country.  There are a few other options out there though.  Namely, not being a dick about it.

God forbid anyone suggest some alternatives to attempt #27 at yowling about a couple groups of people who don’t give a crap about you to a group of people that can’t do anything about it.

Your proposed alternative was “chill out and go do something else.” Cool.

All I’m doing is saying that, instead of getting worked up about George’s blog post #27 about what you feel isn’t a unique-enough take or is a repeat of a previous feeling, maybe you should chill out and go do something else.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 09/01/12 at 11:00 AM ET

WingedRider's avatar

I actually enjoy JJ from Kansas posts as well as George’s Blog.  Great passionate information that I really feel is bang on and thought provoking..

The minute Fehr was elected Head of NHLPA I felt there would be a work stoppage.  I lean towards the players side on this as I remember vividly, despite my age, how Howe , Lindsay and many others where treated back before a lot of you were born , I would guess.

This is my opinion only, but I feel there will be a lockout and no Winter Classic and maybe no season.  The Fans will come back as they did in 2005.  Some Teams will continue to lose money.  Basically things will change but remain the same.

I have to feel for the Preds owner who will have to fork out over more than $20M for Weber , whether there is a season or not. 

There will be no winners in this dispute.

I enjoy this Blog but have a hard time reading it as I know the Fans have absolutely no say in this and never will. 

Time to enjoy some minor league hockey and wait this out as long as it takes.

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 09/01/12 at 12:20 PM ET

Hippy Dave's avatar

There are a lot of sites out there that stream live KHL and IIHF games out there.  This season I plan to vote with my dollars.  Or the withholding thereof.

Posted by Hippy Dave from Portland by way of Detroit on 09/01/12 at 02:16 PM ET

jimathor's avatar

Posted by Baroque from Michigan on 09/01/12 at 10:33 AM ET

This, absolutely this.

I’m at a point where (hopefully) in the next few months I can get a real job during the day because I won’t want to stay up until 4am watching the NHL.

I will instead, take the money I would have spent on a Gamecenter account and give it to charity. I will go and travel a little out of my way to watch some local games. I will go and visit my best friend in Berlin and watch games there.

But as for the NHL, I’m done. At least until reparations are made in lieu of the fans THE WORLD OVER.

And who knows if I’ll come back, a year from now, real-life might just take president. You lock the season out, you probably lock me out.

I have better things to do with my time and my hard-earned few pounds that I spend on the sport, than listen to multi-million and in some cases, billionaires plead poverty.

I’ll be back whenever these idiots decide to bring me Bettman’s head on a fuching platter.

Posted by jimathor from The land of Sir Humblepatch of Bumblehound on 09/01/12 at 07:21 PM ET

Baroque's avatar

Posted by jimathor from Southampton, UK. on 09/01/12 at 08:21 PM ET

Good luck with the job hunting. smile

~~~

I think the biggest realization I’ve had over the last couple years really has been that the best thing about following sports has been the friends I have made who I met because they also were fans of the same team. Well, even if the team isn’t playing, the friends are still there - I still can email them, or text, or chat on Twitter or in blog comments, or sometimes in real life. The people I have come to know are not vanishing just because there isn’t a game to follow, and that is the best that has come out of being a sports fan anyway.

Posted by Baroque from Michigan on 09/02/12 at 06:40 AM ET

Avatar

No, I understand what you’re saying just fine. You seem to have a problem understanding what you’re saying.

To give counseling, especially in consideration of their feelings is, by its very definition to tell people how to feel. Your grasp on synonyms seems to be, to borrow a phrase, mediocre at best.

You’re being absurd, JJ.

Of course, if you actually think that telling people there are other ways to act means that you’re telling them they need to act in other ways maybe absurd isn’t quite the right word.  Perhaps ‘disingenuous’ fits better.

As I said then and as I’m saying now… hey, if people want to froth and yowl, super.  I don’t think that’s terribly constructive or helpful to them, but that’s my opinion about what they are doing not me telling them to act differently.

If you can’t recognize the difference, well, that’s life I guess.

If people want to hop on their high-horse and counsel people who haven’t asked for that counsel so they can talk down to people, hey, it’s a free country.  There are a few other options out there though.  Namely, not being a dick about it.

Your assumptions of merit, meaning and intent leave so much to be desired I don’t find the accusations you derive from them to be particularly relevant.

Your proposed alternative was “chill out and go do something else.” Cool.

Apparently not, considering how mortally offended you were that someone should dare to suggest alternative methods of behavior. smile

All I’m doing is saying that, instead of getting worked up about George’s blog post #27 about what you feel isn’t a unique-enough take or is a repeat of a previous feeling, maybe you should chill out and go do something else.

What makes you think I’m worked up about how other people decide to react, or over-react?  Was it the 10 minutes in total I’ve spent typing replies over the past three days that tipped you off to the depth of my feelings? wink

I think getting wound up about the CBA is entirely pointless, because nobody cares what we think.  I think people should re-invest that emotional energy elsewhere, and threw out a few suggestions, but if people are welded to the notion of outspoken animus towards the negotiation process or particular principles involved therein, whatevs.

If you, likewise, would like to try and wind that position up into some kind of rationale for some degree of internet toughguyery towards me, whatever floats your tug.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 09/02/12 at 12:00 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Of course, if you actually think that telling people there are other ways to act means that you’re telling them they need to act in other ways maybe absurd isn’t quite the right word.  Perhaps ‘disingenuous’ fits better.

Hahaha. So now what you’re saying is that you’re giving counsel on how people should feel, but you’re now cautioning them against actually taking your counsel.

Got it.  What a hilarious turn of mental gymnastics.  Let’s play some more.

Apparently not, considering how mortally offended you were that someone should dare to suggest alternative methods of behavior.

Who said I was offended? I’m believe you’d prefer to deal with somebody who’s “worked up” over discussing it with you because part of the detached stoic perspective imparts a certain degree of weakness to actually having emotions, so the stronger the emotion you can project onto the person with whom you’re disagreeing, the better.

Ask around, HiHD, far be it from me to be offended by somebody acting like a dick. 

What makes you think I’m worked up about how other people decide to react, or over-react?

Your assumptions of merit, meaning and intent leave so much to be desired I don’t find the accusations you derive from them to be particularly relevant.

I think getting wound up about the CBA is entirely pointless, because nobody cares what we think.

We agree about the 2nd point, but you sure spend a lot of time talking about how talking about this is entirely pointless.  What’s your point in bringing it up?  I happen to enjoy discussing it.  Is it just that you enjoy derailing the conversation constantly to talk about you?

We can do that too if you insist on doing it in so many threads.  It’s also something that keeps me entertained.  I’m also happy to discuss anything else actually said in the thread or continue discussing this with Malik without you. 

I’m just going to keep laughing at the martyr complex that actually discussing what you wanted to discuss is a form of internet toughguyery.  You’ve succeeded in painting yourself the victim and everybody else as the slobbering, angry mob who just isn’t quite as enlightened as you are. 

I get the outlook, man. It’s funny and exploring it is something to do other than discuss the players vs. owners.

If somebody else wants to go back to discussing players vs. owners and George’s post, I’m more than prepared to do that as well.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 09/02/12 at 01:03 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

Are people really this bored?

Posted by RWBill from Brush Street cruising with Super Creepy Rob Lowe. on 09/02/12 at 01:26 PM ET

calquake's avatar

Are people really this bored?

Posted by RWBill from the Capital of the Confederacy. on 09/02/12 at 02:26 PM ET

Apparently.

Posted by calquake on 09/02/12 at 03:08 PM ET

Avatar

Hahaha. So now what you’re saying is that you’re giving counsel on how people should feel, but you’re now cautioning them against actually taking your counsel.

No, JJ, I’m saying there are some other things out there to be doing.  Heck, Paul just made a few suggestions in a different post and I certainly didn’t hear you excoriating him for telling people what to do, right?

Maybe because your position here is either completely make-believe or just really, really stupid.

Who said I was offended?

I did.  I thought that was pretty obvious.  smile  Then again, maybe you just go around calling people dicks for no reason.  Entirely possible.

We agree about the 2nd point, but you sure spend a lot of time talking about how talking about this is entirely pointless.

This entire discussion has taken, in total, maybe 15 minutes over the course of 5 days.  That’s a lot of time?

Is it just that you enjoy derailing the conversation constantly to talk about you?

Who precisely made this whole thing personal, anyway? wink  Think that’s you, big guy.  All I did was make some suggestions.  From there you leapt off the deep end, called me a dick, and are now trying to erect some wholly bizarre and inconsistent value structure so you can… hell, I don’t even know what you think you’re doing anymore.  Do you?

You’ve succeeded in painting yourself the victim and everybody else as the slobbering, angry mob who just isn’t quite as enlightened as you are.

So pointing out that you’re the guy calling people ‘dicks’ means I’m painting myself as a victim?

Good Lord.  You’re giving this stuff a far higher level of importance than I do, apparently.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 09/03/12 at 07:47 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Good Lord.  You’re giving this stuff a far higher level of importance than I do, apparently.

Says the guy who keeps going back into a two-day old post.

I didn’t have a problem with Paul’s post because he wasn’t a dick about it.  But by your logic, apparently the only reason to possibly point out that somebody is being a dick is being offended.  What a narrow and naive worldview. But hey, if it helps you to frame the conversation by falsely assigning emotions here (and it’s clear you do), then powerr to you. I’m not the one embarrassed by your strawmen.

So pointing out that you’re the guy calling people ‘dicks’ means I’m painting myself as a victim?

This is what happens when you spend too much time with a thesaurus and not enough with a dictionary.  We’ve already established you’re bad with words, now it’s contextual comprehension too? 

Good lord, you’re giving your ego a far higher level of importance than I do, apparently.  As well you should.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 09/03/12 at 08:38 AM ET

calquake's avatar

Could you two just please grab a room and get this whole thing over with? cheese

Posted by calquake on 09/03/12 at 09:16 AM ET

RWBill's avatar

Posted by calquake on 09/03/12 at 10:16 AM ET

hahahahaha you’re it. no you’re it.  no you’re it.  you’re it. tagged you last.  no i tagged you last.

Posted by RWBill from Brush Street cruising with Super Creepy Rob Lowe. on 09/03/12 at 12:24 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

If you guys want to watch, it’ll be $9.95 a minute.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 09/03/12 at 02:23 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.