This week’s episode begins with a discussion of the decision by the NHL’s players to push for postponement of Thursday and Friday’s games as a response to the Black Lives Matter movement. If you don’t wish to listen to that portion of the conversation because the Black Lives Matter movement triggers you in some way, I’d recommend you fast forward to the 26 or 27 minute mark of the show when we begin discussing the Kasperi Kapanen trade and a potential trade partner for the Sabres.
It seems like such a short time ago that fans were clamoring for details on the labor strife in the NHL. Seven short years it has been since the last lockout and the NHL seems set on yet another.
All it took was a lost season and fans for the owners and players to come to an agreement in 2004-05. Granted, the players were poorly represented and the league as a whole was in desperate need of an overhaul to the CBA. Yet the rapid growth the NHL has enjoyed since the last lockout has done little more to muddy the waters between the NHLPA and owners.
Point fingers if you must at the greedy millionaires and billionaires. Point fingers at Gary Bettman for trotting towards his third work stoppage. Point fingers at whoever you need to blame in this situation. Just understand that this is a two-way street but the owners are driving a much wider vehicle.
By no means am I a CBA expert, so I won’t try and talk number percentages or about any of the other specific details that will ultimately be hammered out over the next few days, weeks and months.
What is so perplexing in this entire scenario is the glaring ignorance portrayed by both sides. The league and owners, as a group, are far and away the greater perpetrators here but the NHLPA should not be fully absolved of blame. Fact is that both sides took their sweet time to talk despite staring at a situation that pointed towards a drawn out negotiating process. Continue reading
Some people never learn. Of course, when you’re talking millions and millions of dollars, it is hard to figure out any sort of logic.
The last time hockey fans were facing labor talks between the owners and Players Association, a lockout was nearly a certainty. What resulted was a lost season, a crap TV contract, fan apprehension and a complete loss of respect from a sports network capable of pumping any event full of propaganda.
Maybe losing any sort of foothold on ESPN’ airwaves was a minor setback, but “the worldwide leader” is nothing more than a televised tabloid capable of steering sports fans interest towards a singular message if they so choose. Regardless, the lost season in 2004-05 was a massive setback for the NHL and caused the necessity for a whole lot of rebuilding.
Only seven years later we are almost back to where we started. Salaries have ballooned (thanks to skyrocketing revenues) and the owners are getting over their heads when it comes to paying out cash. With just over a month to go, it appears as if the worst may be on the horizon, another lockout. Continue reading