Friday, February 04, 2005

 

And the Wheels on the Bus go Round and Round

You’ve heard it many times before, but the NHL and NHLPA are meeting (again) and people expect the season to be cancelled (again).

I like to look at the positive side of the situation: The two sides ARE meeting and they ARE talking. As long as the NHLPA and NHL are talking, there is still hope for a season (strange variations thereof) and a chance for settlement. Until the hammer is dropped and one side declares an end to the negotiating process, we should remain slightly optimistic of an agreement being reached.

Why would Goodenow, Bettman, and their cronies waste time and spend hours in marathon negotiating sessions if they weren’t close or didn’t see room for give and take?

Both sides, and much of the media, would love you to believe the gulf between the sides is wider than the Grand Canyon, but that is simply a smokescreen to make each side look stronger than they are.

TSN’s Bob MacKenzie says it’s all about the numbers.

Good point, but ‘DUH!’.

It’s not the idea of the salary cap that truly irks the players so much as a restrictive limit on their earning potential. If the cap/tax/whatever was fluid enough and had a high enough ceiling, they wouldn’t care what it was called. My best guess is that both sides will agree on a salary range, and it’s simply a matter of negotiating the numbers and percentages.

The players are going to half to accept what the NHL is offering, because there are simply no other real good alternatives. Only a few can make good money in Europe, and most of the big contracts handed out by Russian oil barons and factory teams are simply 1-2 years blips on the radar. The barons simply wanted to blow some money during the short-term lockout, and there is no way the high level of salaries in Russia and other European markets can be sustained: Not with low ticket prices and smaller crowd sizes. (Yeah, I’ve ranted on this before)

Jeremy Roenick is spouting off that he wants the players to be able to vote on the NHL’s proposal. This makes perfect sense, which means it probably won’t happen.

If you are a member of the PA Guild, wouldn’t you want to vote on whether or not to accept the NHL’s offer? Why should the interests of the wealthy elite control the fortunes of the entire PA? I know that the players entrust certain individuals to negotiate on their behalf...but it comes to a point where these negotiators seem purely interested in their own self-interests and not the entire PA.

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In other news, Dany Heatley’s trial finally got settled. He’s going to have to give 150 speeches on the dangers of reckless driving. No jail time, just probation.

I’m guessing the forgiveness and positive testimony of the Snyder family has a big impact on the type of sentence Heatley received. If the Snyder’s were angry enough, they could have gone ahead and tried to get Heatley some real punishment. (Civil or criminal)

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If you want to find the real story behind the CBA negotiations, then check out the first ever edition of the Sharkspage.com Enquirer.

I always thought Gary Bettman was a ninja, but I guess I was wrong.

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