Well, the news out of today's CBA...what-have-ya isn't getting more encouraging, that's for sure. And it's so refreshing that with only 23 days to go until Drop Dead Date, the sides feel they can just take off until Tuesday (though I'm sure some of the underlings will be talking while Bettman and Fehr do....whatever it is they do). It's not looking good, and there are some quotes out there that are just burning my ass.
"We believe that the owners are paying more to the players than they should be."
Ok, as I've said before Bettman is merely the mouthpiece for the owners. What he actually believes probably isn't that much different, but he's just being the front man for a bunch of rich cowards who don't want to get in front of the cameras themselves or don't want to appear to not be a united front.
That's nice, because this quote exemplifies just how dumb they think we all are, and how dumb they think the players are. We lost a whole season to get this system. The owners broke the players to get this system. And now because they were too stupid to see how it might play out or they underestimated the amount that they can't control themselves (i.e. want to win and beat their fellow rich white dudes), they want the players to keep them from it. But in any system they'll still cutthroat each other and find the holes, and we'll get to do this all again in a few years. Basically, I want to see who in the ownership room is the actual author of this quote. I don't think it's all of them.
"We recovered last time because we have the greatest fans in the world."
Let me translate: we can lockout the players because you're a bunch of sheep. Travis Hughes already wrote about this at Broad Street, but we have nowhere else to go. I'm not going to watch the fucking Wolves regularly (though maybe if they played at UIC I might go sometimes, but certainly not to fucking Rose Mizon). I'm not the first to point out what unique places professional sports have in a market place. If GM locks out its employees, I can buy a Nissan. If Apple fucks over its employees, I can buy a PC (yuck).
But only the NHL offers the greatest hockey players in the world, and it will continue to be the only one to do so. And I'm not naive to think that whatever moral satisfaction I would get from never coming back to think it would make the slightest bit of difference to the Hawks or the NHL, nor do I think there would be enough people strong enough to walk out with me to make it really matter (and I doubt that I could. Maybe if my job didn't depend on it and I had any discipline to get a real job. Which we know I don't).
The owners have you, and they know it.
Where's the hope? What glimmer there is is a tactic from the union that isn't getting enough play in the media, at least to my mind. That's the parts of their offer meant to split the owners. Because the owners have different complaints here. The richer ones just want to keep more of their money. But the smaller or poorer ones, while they'd love to make more money, I think just want a bigger chance to not be the smaller or poorer ones, and though they're getting beaten over the head by their rich counterparts to keep their mouths shut, I'm not sure they care how it happens. The only hope, and it has to happen in the next 30 days or so to get the season started on time, is that the players can keep highlighting their revenue sharing ideas and make them attractive before some fissures start to show. With a strong leader like Bettman, this could be nigh on impossible.
But it's all you've got to cling to.