Found December 07, 2012 on
Fox Sports Detroit:
Mother. Of. God.
We have gone from from passion about hockey to hope for its return to disillusionment to disgust.
If you guys cant figure it out, why should we use up our emotional investment in a process that seems incredibly petty?
You can see both sides of the dispute in this no-end-in-sight stalemate between the NHLs players and owners. But heres what keeps eating at me: When there's a resolution at some point, what's left?
In all of these disputes, its always just business. This one is bitter and angry. How is there any sort of partnership any time soon between players and owners who ultimately need each other?
Having been through lockouts before, there's history that time heals all wounds. The game has bounced back.
That doesnt seem like its going to be automatic this time.
Gary Bettman has all the appeal of influenza right now. He has a valid point, however, that the union seems to be presenting moving targets in terms of what they need to have in a new collective bargaining agreement.
We absolutely need this. Now we need this. And now this is the most important thing required.
The ownership side, which made some concessions this week that everyone figured they eventually would, has its heels dug in on length of the new CBA (longer) and the length of player contracts (shorter).
Deputy commissioner Bill Daly referred to those issues as ... dramatic pause here ... a hill we will die on.
Look, theres no getting around the emotions of a drawn out negotiation like this one. But a hill we will die on? C'mon.
The pettiness reached a new level when the owners who felt they were close to getting this all resolved, pulled all their offers off the table. Again. That table must have scratches with all the action its seen -- good and bad.
I exchanged text messages with an NHL front-office executive yesterday who reported that he was very optimistic. Im told teams were actually holding meetings yesterday, planning practice schedules and what-if scenarios with a return date of games expected at Dec. 20.
All that went "poof" last night.
There has to be some value to both sides about the damage being done to the game. If you both proudly stick to your guns but theres no one to watch your teams play when the dispute is eventually resolved, what's been accomplished?
This is where Bettman has to be accountable. Granted, a commissioner now works at the pleasure of ownership. He's their employee. I get that. But the commissioner also must be a bridge-builder between the two sides.
It's certainly noticed that when Bettman and NFLPA chief Donald Fehr removed themselves from the process and let owners and players talk among themselves, that the first real traction in the process seemed to be established.
This has always been a billion-dollar game of Chicken. Who will blink first?
The players now will never get back the money for which theyre fighting. Those dollars are gone.
The owners might never get back the fans, who feel abandoned again.
At the core of this dispute is this: The commissioner has always been about helping the owners who arent making a go of it, in non-traditional hockey markets. Trying to grow the game there.
If they cared only a little before this, how much do they care now?
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CBC hockey commentator Don Cherry is a man of many hats. He is a former minor league player, coach, TV personality, and flashy dresser, but he always tells it like it is and Cherry took to Twitter last night where he went off on the lockout and Gary Bettman being incredibly ”livid” after talks broke down. On [...]
Will we have an NHL season after all?
While all indications are that there are still some hurdles to clear, reports indicate that there is suddenly a sense of cautious optimism after the league’s Board of Governors meeting Wednesday afternoon in Manhattan.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman wasn’t willing to address any of what took place on Wednesday, though. Instead, he appeared...
In all the years I've been watching hockey, I've never seen Gary Bettman this angry. The world's most hated commissioner has his own "Boo Montage" on Youtube. He's been "wanted dead" by David Bolland. He's been called an "idiot" by Red Wings defenseman Ian White.Last night, in a press conference, Bettman lost his cool. Bettman'...
Be optimistic or else.
If you aren’t on Twitter, then you missed a very exciting day yesterday. First, Gary Bettman held a press conference that was so short even John Tortorella blushed. After proclaiming that he was happy with the way negotiations were going, the owners and the players got back into the room to continue talking. This of course, came after a full night of intense...
from Michael Grange of Sportsnet,
Gary Bettman has been a lot of things over his nearly 20 years running the NHL, but on Thursday night he took on a new role, even for him.
He's now the NHLPA's bad boyfriend.
There was so much promise in the air these past few days in Manhattan, which is kind of romantic in the crisp December cold, the city bedazzled with Christmas...
Yesterday was a whirwind for the NHL, so lets get a quick recap of everything that went down. To do this, I'm going to quote some paragraphs from this ABC News article on yesterday's meeting. We all know that Gary Bettman spent about 20-30 seconds on a statement he was an hour late for so there's really no need to dig into any of that stuff.
Globalization is a real thing. The NHL lockout has been such a mess that a news outlet in Taiwan put together an animated video summarizing the twists and turns in negotiations. The video was produced by Next Media Animation and features Sidney Crosby and two other players who look to be Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos and Maple Leafs winger Phil Kessel. Gary Bettman and...
NHLOn Sunday, I referred to the meetings that were being scheduled starting Tuesday between the NHL and the NHLPA as “gimmicky.” The idea of putting a handful of professional athletes in a room with six billionaires and without NHL commissioner Gary Bettman or NHLPA Executive Director Don Fehr present seemed like a PR stunt more [...](Read more...)
Sportsnet's Michael Grange and the CBC's Elliotte Friedman posted late-night CBA negotiating insanity gems, but Yahoo Sports' Nicholas J. Cotsonika has taken the cake and then some for encapsulating Thursday's episode of Proskauer-Rose Shore in two simple, eloquent Tweets:
Maybe the most bizarre day of my hockey writing career. Fehr misled us. Bettman went...
This NHL lockout has been quite the roller coaster ride. Sometimes things are up and sometimes they are down with sudden abrupt changes and inversions to make anyone dizzy.
Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr have butted heads again and again in some sort of, I assume, exhibition of male dominance (don't know why they think the fans want to mate with either of them right now) going...
I can tell you there's a hugely negative vibe emanating from both sides right now. Keeping this process on rails today will be challenging.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) December 6, 2012
In related news, Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr are back in the negotiations this morning.
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I hold no responsibility if the CBA talks fall apart...
from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,
While optimism rose that a deal to save the NHL season was in sight, there are some questions regarding the logistics of getting 720 players scattered across the world to return to work.
Q. Can the two sides make a deal without Donald Fehr or Gary Bettman in the room?
The NHL has rejected the NHLPA's latest offer and it seems like they've now pulled their own offer off the table. Or something. We're not even sure anymore. Someone help us.
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from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
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