Whether many read this blog or not I felt compelled to put my 2 cents out into the Blogging Universe regarding the collective bargaining situation between the NHL and the PA.
First of all, I believe anyone deserves to get paid when they put in the effort and make the sacrifice to succeed. I believe in fairness and goodwill. I don't believe people should be punished for being successful and I don't believe being successful is a license to dictate any policy.
That being said I always find myself siding with the owners. Simply for that one single word: Owners. Owners ultimately take the biggest financial risks. Owners have to take the good with the bad. Owners have the right to run their businesses as they see fit within the structures set out to manage fair play and good will in the league.
I hate when I hear the players union say they want to be "Partners". Partners. Really? Partners? It sounds good in the papers. Oh look! The players are so fair. They want to be partners! Gotta luv'em! Last I checked, in the business world, partners share relative risk and gain accordingly. You've got skin in the game? Ride the roller coaster then. Players are NOT partners. They are very well paid employees backed by a very powerful and rich association. Union is the wrong word for employees who make more than most CEOs. Yes, some are born with some special skills and commit to a risky profession. But don't discount the costs to owners who have to foot the bill for all development costs on EVERY prospect they draft. Very few of them pan out. The owners provide the facilities, the coaches, the trainers and even the equipment. There are doctors, psychologists, cooks and couriers. What part of this so called partnership dictates the players have to offset some of these costs? The answer? None!
Owners want some cost certainty. And they obviously need some protection from each other. I mean they can't just agree to spend less. That would be collusion. So a CBA that provides cost certainty is a must to run their businesses. They played hardball last time and sacrificed a season to turn the ship. They gave the deal 7 years and players have benefited enormously. Can someone say 14 mil for Weber? But a 57% slice for labour when you are carrying costs on top is an enormous pill to swallow. And hard for some markets to compete. Nothing makes me angrier than some of the fat cat, floaters in the league. Can someone say Gomez? Hey partner, you're not bringing it! How about some of that contract back?
So maybe owners will make some more money if they get the CBA they want. They are owners! However, I see this as a benefit to the fans because cost certainty means more opportunity for more teams. Especially the financially challenged teams. And that is just good for everyone.
So the next time you hear a loud groan when a player mentions the word "partnership" it's probably just me having another CBA induced seizure.