Thursday, October 18, 2012

Gary Bettman Ruins Any Chances of Having NHL Season Any Time Soon

Remember all that optimism milling around just a few days ago when the NHL issued a proposal for a new collective bargaining agreement in which the players and owners would split all hockey-related revenue 50-50?

Well, that's gone.  When the NHLPA looked into it, NHLPA director Donald Fehr said that over a six year period with five percent industry growth, the players would stand to lose $1.6 billion.  So they went to work and on Thursday issued three different counter-proposals back to the NHL.  Alright, a little bit of back-and-forth is good, right?

Dead wrong.  "None of the three variations of player share that they gave us even began to approach 50-50, either at all or for some long period of time," Bettman said.  "It's clear we're not speaking the same language."

"I am concerned based on the proposal that was made today that things are not progressing.  To the contrary, I view the proposal made by the Players' Association in many ways a step backward."

We're screwed.  Bettman is just going to go back into his lair while the owners stand guard.  Also, am I missing something, or does it seem like there is very little input to be heard from the players?  Fehr released a memo to players after the latest NHL proposal, but he never met with them.  I don't know the whole business of the Players Association, but it seems just as shady as the owners.  It would only make sense though, considering the circumstances each side is in, that each side would entrench themselves as deep as they can.

No more talks have been slated, as both sides have appeared to completely walk away from the table.  In order for the season to start on Nov. 2, like the NHL proposal stated, a deal would have to be struck by Oct. 25.  Not happening.  The only hope I have at this point is that the season will start with the Winter Classic.  The problem with that being it will turn into one big marketing scheme to make even more money, with such little focus on the teams.  NHL fans are smarter than that though, so if that's their play, good luck.  If not, then let the 365-day countdown begin.

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