NHL Labour Negotiations Never Really Got Off The Ground…

Well, here we go again.  I thought I had put this blog to bed for good but my blood’s been boiling to the point that I had to dust it off.  After all, what better way to vent than to post something anonymously on the internet that upwards of 6 people will bother to read?

Lockout with your jock out

When these labour negotiations got underway, I was fairly neutral on the whole thing.  I didn’t really care much one way or the other; I just wanted a deal that was decent for the sustainability of NHL hockey in Winnipeg.  From an instant gratification perspective, I also didn’t want to miss any hockey this season.

After a summer of listening to Gary and Donald pretend to say something without really saying anything at all, I’ve now shifted completely to one end of the spectrum.  Yep, I caught a case of Bettman-itis and it’s bad, really bad.  In fact, it’s gotten so that I’m getting physically ill when I read some of the quotes from the players.  They seriously need to take a page out of the owner’s books and zip it.

Who the f–k am I?

In the grand scheme of things I’m nobody, but I’m a nobody that spends over $3,000 of my hard-earned money on the NHL each year.  We’re talking cold hard cash, straight to the bottom line of what we all now so affectionately refer to as HRR (and that holds true regardless of the definition).  I represent the working man that actually pays the bills for the millionaire players and the billionaire owners.  For that reason, I think I’ve earned the right to have some questions answered (or more likely ask them and then go on with my life).

Get to it already…

I’m really not a fan of Donald Fehr.  I find him smug, sneaky and difficult to trust (sound familiar?).  I have absolutely zero faith that he cares at all about the health of the sport of hockey and I’m legitimately worried that he might ruin it (say what you will about Gary but at least his livelihood is connected to the health of the sport).  Donald is scary good at serving kool-aid and it looks like the players can’t get enough.

Rather than ramble on and try to make you believe what I believe, I’d just like answers to the following questions.  If anyone knows Gary Lawless personally, please kindly ask him to pass along my questions to the appropriate people.

1)    To the players – Why do you feel entitled (and that’s the best word to describe it) to such a large percentage of revenue as compared to all the other major sports?  Seriously, please help me understand why you are so special.  Doesn’t 50/50 have a nice symmetrical ring to it?

2)    To the players – You complain about how hard done by you were coming out of the last lockout, yet since then your salaries have done nothing but skyrocket, all while going through the worst economic collapse since the great depression.  Why should I feel sorry for you?

3)    To the players – There are as many owners losing money as making money.  How many of you lost money last year?

4)    To Donald Fehr – Why do you insist on stating your percentages, not in terms of actual revenue, but rather in terms of a fantasy revenue stream that is based on grossly aggressive growth assumptions that are unlikely to continue indefinitely?  Do you honestly think you are fooling anyone?  Please stop it with the convoluted offers like you are going to pull a fast one on Gary.

5)    To Donald Fehr – Could you please stick to negotiating on behalf of the players rather than telling the NHL how to run its business?  That is accomplishing nothing.  If anything, it’s making matters worse.

6)    To Donald Fehr – How did you flip it around so that the tail is wagging the dog?

7)    To Donald Fehr – What. Is. With. The. Lack. Of. Urgency?  As I understand it, the league wanted to start negotiating as early as last November and you waited until June/July.  Your stall tactics are absolutely infuriating.

8)    To Donald Fehr – How can you possibly expect the league to play without a new CBA when we all watched you lead the baseball players to a strike partway through a season only to force a cancellation of the playoffs?  Yep, the Expos fans are still pissed.  Very clever of you to make the NHL out to be the bad guy though.  Most people will probably believe you.

I guess that’s it for now.  I’ll be here, patiently awaiting some responses.

P.S. It is embarrassing to read some of my posts from last year.  Please forgive me.

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