Go Jays. Is it April yet?
Ugh. Watching this lockout trudge along through a seemingly insane number of days of “still happening” may have literally ripped all the ability to feel optimism out of my mind. LOUD: “THEY’RE MEETING TODAY!” Quieter: “They met.” Really quiet: “…it did not go well.” That’s every day of an NHL fans’ life right now. Well, not every day. Just the days the two sides decide to spend uselessly in the same building.
The sad fact is, this Wednesday shouldn’t have been useless. The PA seemingly made very real concessions in what was considered a constructive proposal. The league met this with a mild dose of acknowledgement and a major dose of continued posturing. (SPOILER ALERT, JULY SELVES: They reallyÂ are as stubbornly greedy as we were afraid they’d be).
Gary claims the league’s best offer is on the table and they literally can’t move (“Come to our negotiating point, aka our demands, or no hockey. That’s not a greedy hardline position, right?”). Fehr said much the same, describing the NHL’s response as, “Thanks [for the proposal], but [to end this] you have to agree with what we say.” At the same time, if Gary‘s really a truth-teller, the NHLPA have been real foot-dragging lazies when it comes to submitting comprehensive proposals in a timely fashion. It’s just become so easy to hate everyone involved. But then a player goes crazy on Twitter, and we think – ah, well. At least there’s some entertainment happening.
Gary Bettman is not the villain. Bill Daly is not the villain. The villain in this scenario is a collective. The owners, the league, the lawyers, the NHL’s negotiating team. They, together, have incited this lockout (regardless of how many times they say they didn’t) in the name of good business. They claim to want a system that allows for fair competition while ensuring the “longterm health” of the sport.
They had one. Was the league itself in major financial jeopardy before this started? No. They’re not saving the league. They’re trying to optimize it, in their favour. It’s an attempt to possibly scrape a new layer of icing off the revenue cake for themselves that they wouldn’t have had so much as a whiff of under the old agreement. “Good business“.
Good business would be resolving this amicably with no loss of revenue for anyone and no loss of value for the sport. This is no longer good business. They claim it has to happen. The “short term consequences outweigh the longterm ones” as Gary might put it. I’d love to know what they see that the rest of us don’t. The best possible PR statement the NHL could issue right now would be a candid assessment of why the changes they’ve requested actually need to be made. Have we seen one?
I think my Mashup tone has gone from apathy to spiteful. This could get really interesting by January.
It’s Thursday. Here are some links.
-Mirtle breaks down the numbers in the PA’s latest offer.
-More Mirtle. Expect the next rhetorical war to be between the league’s threatening of a canceled season and the PA’s threatening of decertification.
-Players did not react well to Wednesday’s developments via social media.
Jeff O’Neill Whoever hacked Jeff O’Neill’s account took it…pretty far.
-Here’s the main TSN article on Wednesday’s session. Pertinent quotes as such. During his press scrum video, Gary laments that Fehr talked to the press at midday while the NHL was reviewing the PA offer. Called it not very “constructive.” Let me say that again. While talking about the lockout in a press scrum, Gary lamented that people talk about the lockout in press scrums.
-Via TLN, can Stuart Percy make the WJHC roster?