Just when you thought there was a chance for a real negotiation and a possible deal it looks more like one step forward 5 steps back today. Tuesday the NHL owners via Gary Bettman handed the NHLPA a CBA contract with a 50/50 split of revenue. Most people saw this as a possible light at the end of the tunnel, apparently most people forgot at the end of the tunnel was every fans worst nightmare Donal Fehr!
Yes, Bettman and the NHL could have put the first offer out their to try to win te P.R. race against the players, but they did change their stance and make a fair offer.
The NHLPA came up with 3 different proposals which Bettman and team dismissed pretty quickly for such a monumental negotiation to save an 82 game season that was hanging in the balance. I’m not sure which baffles me more that the Union couldn’t settle on just one offer or that Bettman and team when entering the building stated that a deal was going to happen today and in less than 2 hours they had left the building saying that it was a bad day for hockey. Most fans want to see the lockout ended with both sides locked in a room for endless hours of negotiating instead of just walking away after 2 hours.
Now enters the next stage of the lockout….. the P.R. battle! The owners started the battle which gave everybody false hope. The NHLPA started their campaign today by saying that players gave the owners a CBA with 50/50 split as long as the current contracts are left in tact. First the owners made the players look like they were backed into a corner, and today’s events kind of backed the owners into a corner.
There were reports on Twitter that the players were not going to give up on their values. All I have to say to that is what difference does your values have if there isn’t a league to play in, or what piece of the pie you get if there isn’t a 3.3 billion dollar pie.
Plenty of issues left to iron out, but financial issues are #1 and it doesn’t look very likely that this lockout will end in the foreseeable future especially not in time for an 82 game season. In the end all that really matters is that Donald Fehr is the puppet master orchestrating all of this. He ruined baseball and now he looks poised and ready to put the finishing touches on the NHL. The biggest lack of leverage piece that the player assume they have is that the fans will always return. In the wake of increasing revenues and ratings you would think they would want to return to the ice ASAP, and not hold on to their values at any cost.
Good luck to both sides you are losing in my books and I’m sure in many others too
END THE LOCKOUT!!