Originally written on Taking Bad Schotz  |  Last updated 12/9/12
Amidst a week full of hopeful hockey fans and intense bargaining was the absence of two key figures: the head of the NHL, commissioner Gary Bettman and the head of the Players’ Association, Donald Fehr. Earlier in the week, it had been proposed that a handful of players would meet with a few owners without the leaders of their respective sides, Bettman and Fehr.  Fans were skeptical, but the two sides met and surprisingly made some headway into the lockout. And for the first time in what seemed like a month, fans had hope – hope that the NHL season would happen, hope that there would be hockey before the new year, and hope that hockey would exist again in the lives of Americans. Nevertheless, something went wrong, as always.  Therefore, I retract my statement of blaming solely Gary Bettman earlier in the lockout, and I alter it to this: Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr, it is both of your faults. (Associated Press/CBCSports.ca) The first day of meetings, Tuesday brought good feelings around the league, that the two sides had made some progress in negotiations and found some common ground.  As a fan, I was skeptical, just as everyone else.  But then, as Tuesday came, and the meetings went late into the night, suddenly things started to seem like they would get better. There were reports of owners and general managers calling their players overseas and telling them to get ready to come home for training camps.  There were reports of a two-week training camp, and that a deal would be reached by the end of the week, allowing for a start around Christmas.  There were e-mails sent out to season ticket holders.  And most importantly, there was a podium. The NHL podium stood on a stage, as fans anxiously waited for something to happen with it, but nothing did through Tuesday night.  Twitter blew up with users wanting to know about the podium.  The hashtag, #PodiumWatch was trending in the United States, and stayed trending into the next morning.  Do you think fans want their hockey? Reports surfaced the next day that the meetings nearly broke apart multiple times the night before, but hard negotiations can do that sometimes.  After back and forth proposals that seemed to go on for hours on Wednesday, everyone expected an announcement to come soon.  But then they called off the meetings and the two sides decided to meet with their respective groups the next morning. And then things turned ugly. Bettman and Fehr joined the negotiations, and all of the feel-good ideas circulating around the NHL world evaporated.  As quickly as the two leaders entered the bargaining, the potential disappeared. The NHLPA asked to bring Federal Mediators in again, the NHL said no.  The NHL asked for other things in the CBA, the NHLPA said no.  Back and forth it went with proposals until the podium finally played a part! Fehr stepped to the podium Thursday and contrary to everyone’s expectations, told everyone the opposite of what they wanted to hear.  The negotiations had been broken of with no further date. It is still relatively unclear as to what broke the negotiations off, but the fact of the matter is, the NHL is running out of time for not only this season, but for the league’s success.  If the league loses this season because of the egos of these two air-headed leaders, both parties can kiss the record revenue and the majority of the fan bases goodbye.  It’s not fair to the players, to the fans, and to the owners that this is dragging on. The NHL, however, seems to have withdrawn all of their concessions on elements of the CBA because a deal was never reached. Personally, I believe there is still going to be a season.  The fact that the two parties are so unbelievably close on so many issues just doesn’t make sense.  The enormous amounts of money that the league could be bringing in is going to be the driving force behind the next round of negotiations, and I think after thinking about how badly they are ruining the league, the two sides will reach an agreement and have a modified season of 50-60 games. The sooner this gets done, the better, and the sooner hockey can continue growing in America and setting record revenue – things that cannot be done while the league is in a lockout.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Fabio Fognini stuns Rafael Nadal in epic match

Report: Patrick Kane’s rape case will soon be heard by grand jury

Brady issues statement on Facebook after having suspension lifted

Don Orsillo reportedly asked to lie about being fired by NESN

Matt Cassel believes Bills will keep three quarterbacks

St. Louis police seize scalpers' World Series tickets to give to friends

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Eli Manning happy Tom Brady will play NFL season opener

Phil Kessel has shed 13 pounds this summer

Cam Newton addresses ‘gang’ photo on Instagram

Steelers defense is younger and faster but not better

Duke basketball to visit White House next Tuesday

Report: Cowboys have interest in Broncos RB Montee Ball

Tom Brady Sr. goes on epic radio rant to defend son

The Angels' fall from grace

Bret Bielema wants Arkansas to play Miami, USC in future

WATCH: Ben Revere gifted Matt Wieters a home run

Judge Sarah Thomas as an NFL official, not a female NFL official

Redskins skip Robert Griffin III in jersey countdown

Wisconsin vs Alabama preview

Simona Halep popular with fans who want to kiss her

Patriots planned on raising a "Brady banner on opening night

Braves and Phillies sucking at the same time is rare

Montana St. linebacker delivers bone crushing hit in opener

Despite loss, all eyes still on Jim Harbaugh, Wolverines

Kirk Cousins discusses what it’s like to be called ‘Kurt’

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Wisconsin vs Alabama preview

Tom Brady issues statement on Facebook

Robert Griffin III and a dream deferred

Best, worst surprises of NFL preseason

The Gospel Of Harbaugh prepares for its ultimate test of faith

Meet the Utah Utes, the pluckiest program in college football

Iman Shumpert will name daughter Iman Shumpert Jr.

Dallas company celebrates Romo with DirecTV 'crownies'

Top 10 storylines for Week 4 of the NFL preseason

Matt Williams is still hopelessly married to the idea of the closer’s role

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker