If you’ve ever negotiated the price of anything, whether it be a house or a car or a pog, you know that it takes patience, savvy, and lots and lots of dishonesty. We’re selling my wife’s car right now, and lemme tell ya, it is amazing how many people are approved for loans, but only up to exactly $1100 less than we’re asking for it.
We happen to be moving in about month, which gives us a nice upper hand – we’re not in any particular rush to sell it, and it’s a nice car that we won’t have a problem getting rid of. In that regard, time is our ally.
Time is also the NHL’s ally, and for a couple reasons.
The NHL season is still six or seven weeks away, so there’s no reason to be agree to something “fair,” when each number after each decimal can equal huge sums of cash moving in different directions. You negotiate important numbers like that right down to the very last second. And of course, you don’t own a pro sports team without being an extremely wealthy person (for the most part), so not having your NHL team up-and-running for a few months isn’t all that scary.
The players, however, kinda need those paychecks. Say what you will about what they earn (it’s a lot, relatively speaking), but just like most of us, they live to their means. Those mortgage payments and taxes on that waterfront palace on Okanagan Lake aren’t going to take care of themselves.
This is what lawyers call, in technical terms, “having someone’s nuts in a vise,” and with each passing day, the vice tightens.
I had a fantasy today (unrelated to tightening nut vises) that Donald Fehr would walk out of the NHL/NHLPA meeting today and go “Yup. Yeah, we totally did it. Everyone agreed. Stop fretting, back to writing those pre-season predictions, everyone!”
But of course, it’s a fantasy for a reason. They NHLPA could’ve loved the proposed deal, and with the time still remaining before the season starts, said “Shit, if we got ‘em here this early in the summer, imagine where we’ll have ‘em by October!” A good offer could loosen the vise, and the players, just as the owners would and have, would still scoff at the latest offer. There’s no logical reason for either side to come to an early agreement aside from looking out for the good of the fans, and lord knows they care zero percent about that group when it comes to the business side of the game.
(The NHL gave the NHLPA another proposal today, and unsurprisingly, Fehr said he “Felt no better or worse about it” than the last one.)
It’s depressing as it is a reality – this thing is going all the way to the start of the NHL season, likely beyond, and you’re going to have to read about it every day until then.
And now that I have successfully rained on large number of parades, here’s a picture of a kitten licking its paw to make you feel better.