Every week I take Elliotte Friedman’s “30 Thoughts” blog, pick what I deem to be the most interesting, and elaborate on his points. I do that, because in my opinion, Elliotte is the most informed, honest journalist in hockey.
Today he wrote a post about the current state of the lockout, and predictably, it made a ton of sense.
“We know [Bettman, Don Fehr and their negotiators] are tough guys,” one high-ranking team executive said. “They’ve proven they can say no. Congratulations.
“Now where are the people worrying about the best interests of the game? Who represents the people who’ve worked hard for years to make it what it is?”
Even those who are supportive of the players are sick of hearing how hated Bettman and Jacobs are. Even those who support the league are sick of hearing how Fehr only says no. They are sick and tired of the spin — and these are prominent people inside the sport, people who understand that both sides have legitimate grievances.
They just want people brought in who can actually close this deal because right now the problem is that while players want to play, what’s on the table isn’t good enough to get them to say OK. Same goes for the owners. They see the finish line, but important hurdles prevent them from getting there.
What really infuriates everyone is that they look at Bettman and Fehr and say: “They’ve each got one more move left in them, but they’re just waiting. They’re waiting for the real drop-dead date.”
The drop dead date – rumoured to be in early January – isn’t that far off. And, that’s fine. I don’t care about anything but getting hockey back at this point.