Archive for the ‘Lockout Thoughts’ Category

Almost immediately after I wrote my morning post explaining that the owners offer to the players was not just about PR, the NHL released their offer to the NHLPA on their website. As Elliotte Friedman said…

Indeed. For the record, I stand by that morning post. I think the owners are entitled to try to cash in PR-wise on the fact that they are trying to get a deal done.

Still, I don’t necessarily think “PR” is the reason they did it. Another wise hockey soul made a great point about why the NHL may have released the proposal on its website, despite claiming that they don’t negotiate in public:

That makes sense to me. Read the rest of this entry »

If Gary Bettman really is The Smartest Man in the Room, or more accurately, “The Smartest Man in Every Room” as has been implied, then I can’t help but feel that the owners negotiating plans are right on schedule.

  • “Okay, suuuper, super lowball early, piss some people off, create doubt that another NHL season happens, like, ever again. Check.”
  • “Suffer public relations abuse, player pity, leave unreasonably large gap, express doubt. Check.”
  • “Stop talking. Public panic. Check.”
  • “Cancel some games. Have the players miss a paycheck. Check and check.”
  • “When all hope is lost, propose a reasonable offer just under where we’re willing to go, get players counter-offer, get something done in time to avoid missing games. IN PROGRESS.”

Whether that’s the case or not, the owners latest offer isn’t unreasonable, and should be a good jumping off point for reaching an honest-to-god resolution in the coming weeks. Read the rest of this entry »

NHL fans to NHL leadership. (Pic from

Elliotte Friedman wrote a must-read column titled “NHL could learn from baseball’s labour peace” yesterday that helped me put a finger on the exact feeling I’ve had about the NHL’s most recent lockout, but had previously been unable to pin down in text form.

A choice passage from his post:

Only two leagues have ever cancelled their championships for labour reasons: Major League Baseball in 1994 (player strike) and, of course, the NHL in 2004-05 (owner lockout).

Since MLB returned to work in 1995, it hasn’t missed anything. That means the NHL and NHLPA are heading into completely uncharted territory. There is no case study that hints at what revenues are going to look like on the other side.

Now, we’ve heard Bettman say that everything will be okay “because we have the world’s greatest fans.” But, the question I’d ask the individual players and owners — who really have the most to lose here — is: what if he’s wrong?

I am so, so certain he is. I feel like my job makes me a pretty central hub for hockey fan opinion, and I cannot tell you how many (ex?)fans are claiming to be done with the league. Actually, wait, I can: lots.

Friedman never directly says it in the piece, but I think the implication is exactly what I’ve been trying to put into words for awhile now: Gary Bettman is overestimating hockey fans passion for the NHL (my words, not his). Something about the current mess made me tag this post with both “final straw” and “camel’s back.” Read the rest of this entry »