I was planning on coming home from work, quickly changing, and hopping on the I-90 to head to Rochester for the Amerks vs Heat game. So why am I writing this? My wife is feeling under the weather, and I’m taking care of her. In the end, that’s way more important than a hockey game. My back up plan? Watch the game on Time Warner Sports Network. Downside with that, they’re running high school football instead. So, here I sit, on my couch, contemplating the lockout.
Each and every day, I have less and less hope for the 2012-2013 season. What optimism is there for NHL fans? The two sides seem to not want to meet, and today, the NHL decided to take a 2 week vacation from negotiations. I ask this, what, in God’s name will it take for a deal to be made?
I initially said that I expected the NHL to be back on the ice by around Thanksgiving. Thanks to the hasty decision to cancel games throughout the month, that’s not going to happen. If both sides decide to take a break, we’re now heading towards December, and more games will be cancelled.
I’m not quite sold on the fact that the owners and Bettman are doing all they can. The month of November tells us a lot. Prior to canceling the entire month, the NHL had only cancelled 2 weeks, and then 1 more week. Then, when it was apparent that no deal was going to be met, the NHL cancels the whole month. Then, there are some negotiations, they break off, and the NHL pretty much says to the players “Oh, go ahead, take some time. Have 2 more weeks.”
Now, I know I’m leaving out the Winter Classic being cancelled. That is more of a money issue than a bargaining chip. It was cancelled due to cancellation fees climbing the longer they waited. However, at this point in time, it’s looking like it was a smart idea.
Let’s go back to the month of November being cancelled shortly after my father’s birthday at the end of October. The NHL has shown that they are very quick to cancel games and avoid the negotiating table. I’ve heard repeatedly how Fehr is telling the players to hold out for a better deal. The players, it seems, has presented several contracts to the NHL. These deals have been rejected, and few other options seem to be presented by the NHL. More and more players are starting to head over seas to play in Europe. Doesn’t appear to be too promising.
So why are we quick to jump to the aid of the owners? I also hear a lot of blame directed at the players, for not just “sucking it up”. As far as I’m concerned, both sides are to blame, but the owners share more. I don’t see them being too willing to negotiate, and they seem perfectly content to just sit on the process and wait.
It’s clear that both sides want to come off the better in the deal. However, that’s just not going to happen. Both sides are being stubborn, the owners more, but that’s just my opinion. It’s time for both sides to lose some of this stubbornness, and start working to reach a mutual agreement that will make both sides happy. It’s called, compromise. Say it with me kids, compromise. Call me crazy, but neither side is going to walk away with everything that they want in a deal. Accept it.
Several contracts have been presented. Now, there are several negotiating points in each and every contract. There’s no reason why both sides can’t keep going back and forth, throwing ideas around, and developing a CBA that both sides are happy with. I’ll say this, I’ve been a part of contract negotiations in my life. Time permitting, it’s easy to get done. As both sides are currently not working, I’d say time is a luxury that both sides have.
The schedule is a huge concern right now as well. The clock is ticking. Last lockout, the season was cancelled in February. As of right now, that’s 2 and 1/2 months away. The sides aren’t meeting again for 2 weeks. Make that 2 months away. Like I said, the clock is ticking.
I initially said that I thought the NHL would be starting to play about a week from now, giving NHL fans something to be thankful for. I was hoping to be able to go to the Sabres vs Senators game to close out 2012. Instead, I think 2012 will end, and 2013 will begin, NHL free.