Gary Bettman went nuts today, well, at least more nuts than usual.
As I've said from the beginning, I'm on the players' side on this one. Is it the players' fault that the owners didn't limit the length of contracts in the last agreement? Heck, no. The owners didn't intend to pay off any of those longer contracts, anyway.
The owners need to shut down teams that can't make it because they'll never make it. They shouldn't have been there in the first place, except for the greed for expansion money. (I'm reminded of the line by former LA Kings owner (way back) Jack Kent Cooke, who said, ``There's X million former Canadians in Southern California. That should have made for a great franchise, except who knew they all moved here because they hated hockey?'') The sport is never going to work in certain parts of the country so quit creating these no-win situations!
Remember when Bettman said the owners had put their best proposal forward but wouldn't tell what any of the details were? I called BS immediately, and I have yet to hear anything but BS from the owners' side in this whole process. Have you noticed how the owners have only talked in generalities in public? We need a long-term deal, our fans deserve it, etc. How about some specifics for once?
Why is it that hockey owners are so smart in some businesses and so stupid in others? They all make the same blasted mistakes time and time again, whether in the minors or in the NHL. So stupid. It's like they are all fans and this is a fantasy league instead of a real business, so they all continue to make the same mistakes as the last guy, over and over again.
It's like when your business is taken over by somebody outside the community. They always want to come in and reinvent the wheel instead of asking the people who actually live there, who have worked there and know the territory what will actually work. No, they just keep making the same mistakes instead of finding out WHAT WILL ACTUALLY WORK IN THAT SITUATION. Head down and full steam ahead, even if you are just banging your head against a cement wall.
Another key to me, NHL owners wanted to shove all AHL contracts under this agreement. MORE BS! It's because their AHL franchises are all losing money and they can't find anybody stupid enough to buy them. That is THEIR fault, not the players. Look at the attendance numbers and you can figure out how much money they are losing. It's not that hard.
Also interesting is that today, the same day, the Michigan legislature approved a measure to help the Red Wings finance at $650 million new building. When will the NHL realize, as the minors have had to, there are only about 15-20 teams that can actually make a go of it in the NHL?
Why is it the players' fault that hockey is huge in cities like the Original Six, Philly, Vancouver, St. Louis, etc, but not in others? Did the players have any say in where those teams were placed?
To me, this is all on the owners and their inability to control their problems. They want the players to give up $231 million? Fine, then the owners should give up $231 million in revenue sharing as well instead of the $50 million they are doing now. That doesn't even pay for one decent player per team.
What a joke. The really sad thing is, they could figure this out tomorrow, raise ticket prices 10 percent, and most fans would go crawling back without a second thought. Even if they get this resolved, does anybody have any faith there won't be another labor problem in the near future? How could you?
What a joke.