This piece from one of our admins on our NJ Devils Blog on Facebook...If your on facebook and are a Devils fan you should follow us.
The NHL has proven this summer that they want to stand up for their rules. And they have proven that no matter how poorly the expected publicity paints league officials and the NHL, in their minds any publicity is good publicity. However...
There is a point when enough is ENOUGH. It was supposed to have ended yesterday at 5 PM. The league did NOTHING in terms of a decision. Kovalchuk's contract should've been registered by default after 5 PM. But because the league did not have a decision, a 1/4 to five, they announced that the NHLPA agreed to extend the deadline until Friday.
Umm. I'm sorry. What?
So the NHL wants to stand up for their CBA. But at the same time they alone are allowed to undermine it? The five days are five days. I won't pretend to have read the full CBA, but I do know it's a rule that the league has five days to register a contract or it gets registered by default if no decision is reached by the deadline. So if the NHLPA can be bullied into agreeing with the league, the league can break their own rules?
Apparently that's the case. The NHLPA is leaderless and spineless right now and terrified of losing another battle. Of COURSE THEY'RE GOING TO "AGREE WITH THE LEAGUE". What is apparent, anti-Devil bias or not, is that the NHL is now playing hardball and effectively bullying the NHLPA into complying with whatever crackpot moves the league comes up with, because they can. The NHL is abusing the NHLPA, and as a result the New Jersey Devils are getting the "screw" in the word 'screwed'. And Lou Lamoriello has stated as well that no one had notified the Devils of the NHLPA and the NHL's agreement to extend the deadline. The Devils organization was kept in the dark until approximately four O clock yesterday afternoon.
My conclusion is this; the NHLPA is weak and unable to defend itself. The NHL is taking full advantage of that and taking a bunch steps further playing hardball. The message I'm getting from this entire fiasco is that the NHL wants teams to abide by the rules and not exploit loopholes, but for NHL officials it's okay to break as many of their own rules as they want, so long as they have the so-called 'agreement' with the players union.
I personally feel the league should've waited until the CBA negotiations to start this crap, when it was the appropriate time to fix the loopholes and negotiate in good faith with the players union. But NHL... even if the union is weak, you've made a bunch of people very angry with you, the NHLPA and the fans. If there is no lock-out in two years it will be a miracle. And if there is a lock-out, you'd best pray the fans will actually come back this time. You know, the die hard fans. Because the bandwagon Caps, Pens, Flyers and Blackhawk fans probably won't.
Not much of an article. But I needed to vent in a constructive way somewhere.
Peace and love-