So… what are we doing here?
For the third time in the last 18 years, not a single National Hockey League has been played at the Christmas break. If Gary Bettman keeps signing collective bargaining agreements that aren’t sustainable to the future health of the league, I hope the next guy is a little more forward thinking…
Anyway, there’s been enough wrapping our hands around Bettman’s non-existent neck. He’s been great for the corporate side of hockey, the business owners and the season seat holders, none of which are going to up and leave the NHL as long as it’s a trendy way to entertain clients. Nobody’s given up on tickets, even though it’s just as embarrassing to be a fan of hockey these days as it is for Shane Doan to be a player. I’d include writers in there, somewhere, but we don’t matter as much as players and fans in the way the game is played or presented.
It’s December 24th and there’s no labour agreement. I think a number of outside observers believed that the National Hockey League could not be so stupid to withhold a few million dollars to guarantee the league would not play the Winter Classic, or at least the first week of January, but that was months ago we made that projection, and we’re talking about business owners who decided to put teams in Glendale, Sunrise and Atlanta.