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National League Hockey game
The National Hockey League's lockout of its players does not seem likely to end any time soon, with owners and league management demanding more, more, more from the players.
Everyone knows the NHL and players’ association can’t agree on how to split their revenue, but Sunday’s meeting exclusively addressed the league’s proposed player contract restrictions.

The "candid discussion," as [NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill] Daly called it, confirmed two basic facts: first, the owners are just as adamant about changing contract rules as they are about altering the revenue structure; second, the players have no interest in giving away contract rights, especially since those rights were acquired after the 2004-05 lockout in exchange for financial concessions.

Got that? In 2004-2005, the owners gave some contract rights to get some money. In 2012, the owners are demanding both money and contract rights. And they won't budge on any of it.
For this from an individual in the room for Friday’s negotiating sessions and confirmed word-for-word by Slap Shots by a source across the aisle:

"Near the end of the meeting, Don [Fehr] said to Gary [Bettman]: 'Let me get this straight. Even if the players agree to every single component of the league’s economic plan, we still don’t have a deal unless we also agree to every one of your proposed changes to player contract rights?'"

To which, both of our sources reported, "Gary said: 'Yes.'"

While that's the New York Post with anonymous sources, public statements from both sides support that this is where negotiations are, with the players union being told that it's all or nothing. That's not negotiation, it's the owners demanding total capitulation.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 07:32 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I don't like Betman at all... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    erush1345, cohenzee

    but I have little support for millionairs fighting over millions of dollars.

    Canada misses hockey, but the feelings I've seen expressed is disgust with both sides in this battle.

  •  I think the owners will split and cave first. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tommymet, RichM, IB JOHN, redlum jak

    At first glance it's a conflict between relative have and have-not players on one hand, and relatively have and have-not owners on the other.  But since the owners' proposal is to make all players have-nots, it's harder for them to split the players while Fehr can hope to wear down owners in franchises that make more money playing hockey than not playing it.  

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 07:43:13 AM PST

  •  Meh, I'm surprised that the players (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bobs Telecaster, RichM

    haven't all been flat out fired in the past few days, with the blame laid at the feet of ObamaCare, or something like that.

  •  An interesting article here on Bruins owner (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roadbed Guy

    Jeremy Jacobs v. Patriots owner Robert Kraft:

    [http://www.csnne.com/...]

    Kraft is all-but-certain to get inducted into the HOF some day; Jacobs, not so much.

    We don't want our country back, we want our country FORWARD. --Eclectablog

    by Samer on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 07:45:31 AM PST

  •  The players have options. (13+ / 0-)

    I am sure that the European leagues would love to get the stars and become as big a money maker as the NHL.  Hockey players will play hockey...somewhere.  They will get paid well and be happy without the NHL.  I don't know what the owners are thinking.  I am appalled that we pay for their palaces and they get to rake in all the dough.  Screw em.

    Everyone! Arms akimbo!

    by tobendaro on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 07:49:50 AM PST

    •  that's what a lot of people are saying... (6+ / 0-)

      Winter Classic is lost for now; some NHL fans might be lost for good

      They're definitely playing with fire here.  If they lose the Detroit market, they're gonna lose a lot more.  Red Wing fans are as loyal as any in the NHL.  There's gonna be some teams go out of business because of this.  Their fan bases aren't as loyal.

      A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.' Douglas Adams

      by dougymi on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 08:01:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm done with the NHL (4+ / 0-)

        I have absolutely no interest in following a league where the owners are going to exploit their players every few years and are apparently quite content with canceling entire seasons.  There's just no point in investing any energy in following it now.  I loved it while I was in Canada for three years, but now that I'm back in Seattle, it's nearly impossible to regain interest knowing that there may not be a season.

        I'd love for the players to say, "this is not the professional league we are going to play for" and let the NHL wither on the vine.  No pays to see the owners play.  

        •  They forget... (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ssmt, tobendaro, TheDuckManCometh, dougymi

          ...that the NHL is not the NFL. The NHL could disappear and most Americans wouldn't notice. AND, these players have other leagues to play in. The owners better get real or this league will be gone.

        •  Go see the Seattle T-Birds (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tobendaro, ssmt

          they WANT and NEED you as a fan.  

          Support your local hockey. :)

          From a Portland Winterhawk fanatic.

          "Love One Another" ~ George Harrison

          by Damnit Janet on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 10:33:44 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I've been meaning to check out a game! (4+ / 0-)

            It's on my list of things to do this winter.

          •  I may be traveling more to PDX - how are the (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sethtriggs, Damnit Janet

            Winterhawks?  We used to get tickets to the Columbus Blue Jackets when tickets were a perk at a relative's job, but I've never been to a game here in Phoenix (Does Phoenix even have a hockey team still?  What a stupid expansion city... AND last I heard the team is still way at the northwest corner of the metro region, rather than at the old America West Arena downtown where the Suns play, so we'd have to drive some 50-odd miles just to see a game).

            But anyhow.  I loooooooved Portland.  How are the Winterhawks games, any fun?  Can you get to the stadium on the MAX?

            "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

            by auron renouille on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 06:44:04 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Hello! Absolutely! (0+ / 0-)

              Yes the Max' Blue Line runs right to the Rose Garden and War Memorial.  We play in two arenas. Winterhawks are kicking ass and have been for two years.  This season they are on a twelve game winning streak.  You can get a ticket most any game night.  Can check out their website and buy tix from it as well.

              Or call: 503-236-HAWK (4295) and ask for Michael V.  (he's my ticket dude)

              They are all heart!  I love these guys.

              Yeah, Phoenix Coyotes the welfare team of the NHL.  Pathetic.  Worst expansion idea ever.  Then we got to see what a crook Gretsky turned out to be.

              But I do hope you get to catch a game or two in Portland.  I love this place.  

              "Love One Another" ~ George Harrison

              by Damnit Janet on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 07:07:21 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly. I've been a Kings fan since 1987. (7+ / 0-)

        But the expansion teams from the last couple of rounds can lose their season ticket holders and viewers quickly. It's not like if you've been going to games for a couple years that its burned into your soul forever.  Or even that people are so worried that if they walk from their season seats that they wouldn't be able to get equally good seats several years from now.

        I too see this harming the younger clubs a lot.

        © grover


        So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

        by grover on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 05:35:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  that is a big loss. (3+ / 0-)

        red wings hosting maple leafs at the big house should have been by far the best winter classic ever, and would have generated a shitload of money.

        i worry that the decline of red wings (loss of lidstrom; aging of datsyuk, zetterberg, franzen; weak blueline) and the general economic weakness of the region could lead to a weak market for the red wings.  that could be a big blow to the NHL, b/c detroit is one of the most valuable teams, and one of the biggest drawing teams on the road.

    •  The European leagues have restrictions (0+ / 0-)

      on how many foreign (usually NA) players each team can have.  This is to ensure the players of those countries are able to get jobs.  They are not going to just hand over the leagues to locked out NHLers.

      I must end each and every day with a dose of a regularly scheduled Top Comments. A regularly scheduled Top Comments diary is a must for developing the calmness I need to get the required eight hours of sleep. - cohenzee

      by cohenzee on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 11:10:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Except (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tobendaro, dougymi

        That a much higher percentage of the players are European. The NHL Swedes can go back and play in Sweden or anywhere else in Europe. The Swedish teams don't have a limit on NHL players from Sweden. Russia, Finland, and other countries are the same.

        And when these NHL players mean more money for European elite teams you can bet they will want more NHLers and will change the rules.

        Hockey isn't like baseball or football. Hockey is almost bigger in Europe than it is in the US (on par with Canada). Players can easily find elite leagues in many countries and be well compensated. Plus since quite a few of the players are from those countries the teams there are more than happy to have them come "home".

      •  I've got a hunch that they wouldn't let that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cohenzee, Egalitare

        keep them from getting the NHL's talent.

        "Nothing happens unless first a dream. " ~ Carl Sandburg

        by davewill on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 05:22:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Owners (6+ / 0-)

    are probably the same guys funding the teabaggers and Karl Rove, that would be my guess.

    Owning a sports team is a hobby. But breaking the will of their workers, no matter how well paid? That's a profession.

    Maybe they can lay their Left Wingers off because Obamacare won't be repealed, and play 4 on 4 hockey instead.

    Rick Perry - the greatest scientist since Galileo!

    by Bobs Telecaster on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 07:57:25 AM PST

  •  I don't understand why athletes don't flip this. (10+ / 0-)

    The owners have locked them out. Fine. How many people show up to the arena to watch an owner? Hockey players maybe aren't rich, but they're well off and there's a lot of them. They should just refuse to go back and start a player-owned league.

    Alternatively, since we have acknowledged with the MLB's exemption from antitrust law, congress can regulate sports differently from other sports. I'd suggest a law giving local governments the option to purchase their respective sports teams for fair market value (less the cost of any taxpayer subsidies the teams have taken).

    "All things are true. Even false things. Don't ask me, man, I didn't do it." -Mitt Romney

    by Geiiga on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 08:11:51 AM PST

  •  Let it Fade Away (5+ / 0-)

    I went to a college that was a powerhouse in hockey.  I love the sport.  But I'm willing to let professional hockey die entirely, rather than abide the greed being shown by the owners.  Without players, there is no hockey.  It's a rough sport.  The players deserve a place at the table.  

  •  They are going to kill... (10+ / 0-)

    The sport in North America.  Unlike baseball or football, there are other leagues where at least the premium players can go.  They will not be in a hurry to come back and be wage slaves to the owners.  The owners are basically killing the league.

    Hillary Rodham Clinton/Julian Castro - 2016

    by RichM on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 08:19:49 AM PST

  •  Other major sports should take note. (5+ / 0-)

    The NHL owners are killing their sport. Players will go to Europe, fans will watch something else.

  •  NHL owners have never taken the sport seriously. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mconvente, RichM, ranger995, J M F

    As was shown with the NFL referee lockout, this isn't exclusive to hockey anymore & if you widen the view & look at the whole "job creators" ideology, you see it is the way all business is being presented by the ownership class. The idea anymore is not to put out the best product & make a reasonable profit, it is make maximum profit & product be damned.
    The real job creators - & by extension, the real profit providers - are just assumed. Fans & customers are irrelevant in all this beyond the assumption that they will pay for tickets & provide subsidies for (if not outright purchase) the venues where the owners make their profit. It's no mistake that there is no one representing the fans in these negotiations.

    Who cares what banks may fail in Yonkers. Long as you've got a kiss that conquers.

    by rasbobbo on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 08:46:14 AM PST

  •  Lock-out is about destroying the union not money (7+ / 0-)

    The first thing I do when I hear a professional sports franchise "lost" money is laugh. Why? Because most of those losses are paper losses because our tax laws allow owners to depreciate player salaries. A prime example of this was when the then-Florida Marlins cried poverty to the city of Miami to get a new stadium. Instead of losing millions each year as they claimed, the Marlins were actually making millions.

    The NFL, a $9 billion a year financial juggernaut, has twice cried poverty in the last two years, first w/ a player lockout and then this year when we were treated to the spectacle of replacement referees so incompetent that they couldn't even hack it in the Lingerie Football League — I shit you not.

    The fact is no one held a gun to the head of each NHL owner and made them pay big salaries. Rather the owners, flush w/ new TV revenue from NBC spent like drunken sailors. Now they want a mulligan.

    Moreover, the lock-out will hurt the NHL and lead the sport toward a future of national irrelevance. Sure, it will still be big in the "Original Six" cities and places like Philadelphia but much less so in the Sun Belt.

    IMO, in twenty years, hockey won't even hold its place as the fourth most popular sport in the US. Soccer will eventually nudge out hockey. Hockey has very limited growth potential particularly because it costs so much money in equipment and ice time.

    •  The expansion into the sunbelt was all about TV (5+ / 0-)

      Bettman went full steam ahead with his southern expansion with one goal in mind -- a national US TV deal.  Why do you think he was so willing to let hockey wither in Winnipeg and Quebec City?  It had nothing to do with a love for the game or even market demand.  

      Hockey in Arizona only mattered to Bettman for one reason -- Phoenix is a top 10 TV market, that he needed in order to secure a TV deal.  He didn't care about the fans.  He only saw a TV market and a local City Council in Glendale gullible enough to get in bed with him.  The TV deal was important enough that he took the Coyotes into league ownership, even though ownership groups in Winnipeg and suburban Toronto were ready to buy the team.

      Now that Bettman has his TV deal, he has left Glendale hanging.  Whereas once upon a time, he would go to the mat to keep the team in the desert.  He has barely lifted a finger since signing the TV deal.  It's why he let Atlanta move to Winnipeg (along with a nine figure relocation fee), and it's why he won't bat an eye if any of the other southern teams relocate now.  He has a 10-year TV deal in the U.S., and the negotiations for the Canadian TV deal are coming soon.  

      Bettman's a snake and a scumbag.  The game is tainted by his very presence.  

    •  MLS has been really successful - it may be (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sethtriggs

      there already, but I don't know.  It's probably close, particularly in cities like LA where it's huge.

      "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

      by auron renouille on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 06:46:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Time for the Stanley Cup trustees... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    redlum jak, ranger995, Roadbed Guy

    ...to offer up the Cup so that other leagues can challenge for it (like it was MEANT to be!)

    The NHL can go to hell...

    Article 196. Health care is a right of all persons and an obligation of the State, guaranteed through social and economic policies that provide...universal and equitable access to programs and services....

    by SLKRR on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 09:14:29 AM PST

  •  The NHL negotiates like Bain does (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Damnit Janet, TheDuckManCometh

    my way or hwy.

  •  The public agencies (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Damnit Janet, TheDuckManCometh

    that own the arenas need to start suing these teams.

  •  Countdown to Corporate Welfare in 3,2,1 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cohenzee, TheDuckManCometh, SLKRR

    "We had to pay the players more.

    So now we need a new arena so we can afford to pay them.

    So if you don't give me several million dollars, I am going to move the team to Quebec City, Hamilton, San Diego or Seattle"

  •  I am nothing but an ATM for the NHL (8+ / 0-)

    They don't care about fans.  

    They know that we will come back no matter what because we love the game.  For many of us, it is our "religion".

    I support the Players.  They are being shat on by the 1%ers of the NHL.  Fuck Bettman.  Fuck the Owners.

    My favorite players are playing in Europe and Russia now.  They aren't even at the table, they aren't allowed to be at the table, to have a voice.

    This is not a lock out about the game, or about some crazy rule, or changing something that will decrease injuries... it's about the owners wanting more money from the players.  Fuck that.

    This year I took my money and I bought season tickets to my local Western Hockey League team.  The Portland Winterhawks.  They are kicking ass and this is fun.  It's not big money versus big money.  There aren't even any real big egos out on the ice.  Just kids playing for a chance to be winners.  The Winterhawks are a development team and is all about education.  5 of our players from last year went to the NHL.  

    Greed has killed the NHL.  No Heart Left.

    Don't blame the players.  And don't dare blame the fans.  Blame Bettman.  Blame the greedy bastard owners.  

    I think, sadly, I am down with being nothing but a ATM for Betman and the 1%ers of hockey.

    They deserve a game misconduct.  Unsportsmanlike behavior.

    "Love One Another" ~ George Harrison

    by Damnit Janet on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 10:06:10 AM PST

    •  oops typo (4+ / 0-)

      I think, sadly, I am DONE with being nothing but a ATM for Bettman and the 1%ers of hockey.

      I feel horrible for the young players who will now lost their shot at being in the NHL.  

      Sven Baartschi for one.  He should be playing his rookie year for the Calgary Flames.  A young kid with a fantastic future he worked hard for ... all gone because of fat, greedy white rich men.

      "Love One Another" ~ George Harrison

      by Damnit Janet on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 10:09:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  If you have a local college or University team - (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Damnit Janet, PapaChach

      that's an option, though when the lean years come, they tend to last a while.

      Best part - never sitting in the nose bleed section.
      Best part 2 - the student pep band.

      •  My in laws gave up (3+ / 0-)

        their season tickets to the Boston Bruins when they moved to the Fleet Center and every stoppage in play meant loud music being blasted at them.  As they said, "if we wanted to go to a concert, we'd get concert tickets".  They said it was no longer a hockey game but more of a circus.  

        They started supporting the college team at NH.  They said it was ten times better hockey.

        I now support the WHL. :)  Have been going since we moved to Portland.  Finally I am a STH :)

        "Love One Another" ~ George Harrison

        by Damnit Janet on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 10:20:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Ummm (3+ / 0-)

        I like the nosebleed section.  You get to see the game better.  You see plays develop, you see how things flow.  And you don't smell the players ;o)

        "You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity"

        by newfie on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 07:12:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  i agree that the nosebleed (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          newfie, jakedog42, salmo, Damnit Janet

          seats in hockey and football actually in some ways are the best places to watch a game. the main difference between the two sports, fan wise, is that football is truly much more fun to watch on tv, whereas hockey is not - hockey is like baseball in that camera angles can't capture the totality of what is happening away from the ball/puck, and that is often where the real beauty of the respective games lies: watching the sports ballet of eight other fielders running around after a ball is hit into the right-center field gap, or of watching hockey defenseman moving toward places where their anticipatory skills, honed through years of playing the game, tell them they need to go based on where the puck, three-quarters of the ice away, happens to be, are just not things that tv can do well.

          for many years i was a huge fan of a local college team (rensselaer polytechnic institute) and went to almost every game from about 94 thru 93, and that was way more fun than i ever got from watching the nhl on tv (note: i grew up an islanders fan, and they've provided about as much fun as a case of shingles for most of the past quarter-century). also true: when minor league or college teams go bad, as rpi did, they tend to stay bad for a long, long time.

          anyway...fuck the owners. they are weasels of the worst order. the players risk so much, and, well, i'm rambling here, but i just a week or so ago watched an espn "30 for 30" movie about athletes going broke. these guys may make a lot of money, but that earning power is compressed over a very short period of their lives, and lack of planning, bad advice, and injury often leave these guys in a bad place once their leagues have chewed them up and spit them out.

          •  My son (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Damnit Janet

            is currently a fan of RPI hockey as he is now a student there.  Are you still in that region?  

            "You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity"

            by newfie on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 08:56:55 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  I get it too (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            salmo

            I'm not a team sport person, but when my kids started Soccer, I saw this:

            or of watching hockey defenseman moving toward places where their anticipatory skills, honed through years of playing the game, tell them they need to go based on where the puck, three-quarters of the ice away, happens to be, are just not things that tv can do well.
            in a soccer context, and when my son got to high school and college and pretty good it was really fun to watch the experienced players do what you said above.

            So I see Soccer as Hockey without being cold (although here in the Colorado Rockies nothing is certain...)

            Without geometry, life is pointless. And blues harmonica players suck.

            by blindcynic on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 09:01:30 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  I understand people's disdain (0+ / 0-)

    for the NYP on here and I share that view.  However, Larry Brooks is one of the best hockey writers out there bar none and regularly scoops many Canadian papers especially in regards to the NY hockey scene.

    I must end each and every day with a dose of a regularly scheduled Top Comments. A regularly scheduled Top Comments diary is a must for developing the calmness I need to get the required eight hours of sleep. - cohenzee

    by cohenzee on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 11:04:20 AM PST

    •  agree - (0+ / 0-)

      i also generally disdain the post but parts of their sports section, brooks included, are often dead-on and display a level of truth and accuracy that their political propaganda, er, political "news" section wouldn't even dream of displaying. i pretty much disregard anything i read in the post except for their sports section, which reminds me of chomsky's quote to the effect that if our nation's political "journalists" employed the depth of analysis to dc that our nation's sports reporting empire does to sports, we'd have a much better informed electorate.

  •  Somewhat germane to this diary (0+ / 0-)

    is the following article where Judith Miller's newspaper almost redeems itself:

    Derek Boogaard: A Boy Learns to Brawl

  •  Ever heard of Proskauer Rose? (9+ / 0-)

    They're the union-busting law firm representing the NHL.  The also represent the NFL and NBA.   I've dealt with them; they're smart, diligent and ruthless.

    As I  say during every labor dispute involving athletes, your lack of personal sympathy aside, class warfare is class warfare.  If you cannot see which side is the working class, you probably don't get what's happening in the economy at large either.

  •  As a Flyers fan (4+ / 0-)

    I've for the time being adopted Eisbären Berlin as my new team...

    I Support Puerto Rican Statehood

    by InsultComicDog on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 05:24:56 PM PST

  •  dammit I unrecced! Mea culpa a thousand times (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    paytheline

    I swear, a lot sometimes. And this POS debacle of stick and puck has gotten more than a smidgen of swear words out of me.

    It is terribly tempting to wish something bad upon Jacobs and Bettman, the twisted. If I was in yahoo chat or some far off message board I might twist off mightily, but considering that wishing physical harm upon a fellow human is frowned upon around here I will refrain.
    That said I hope Fehr has rounded up all the reps and told them what is what. Communication is going to be key. Stay together on the same page.

    Stick your guns men. Never give in a fucking inch.

    Putting on the spectacles of science in expectation of finding an answer to everything looked at signifies inner blindness. -- J(ames) Frank Dobie

    by cactusflinthead on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 05:34:48 PM PST

  •  I'd advise the NHL players to hold firm (4+ / 0-)

    If they have to seek employment in Europe and elsewhere . Fuck the owners

    Slow thinkers - keep right

    by Dave the Wave on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 05:35:36 PM PST

  •  start a new league (2+ / 0-)

    Slow thinkers - keep right

    by Dave the Wave on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 05:40:49 PM PST

  •  Right now I am watching Michigan State-Kansas (0+ / 0-)

    I watch the NFL and College Football, when the season is over, there will be basketball(NBA ans College) and not far away there will be spring training and baseball. I amk recently become a fan of soccer. If the NHL paid attention they will find out, a majority of American fans could  care less, listen to sports talk radio on ESPN or FOX, I hear NASCAR more than the NHL.

    One does not simply walk into Mordor! One invites a gas driller in, and one’s land becomes Mordor. Chris From Balloon Juice

    by Mr Stagger Lee on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 05:40:56 PM PST

    •  Hockey is regional (0+ / 0-)

      Luckily, those of us who live in one of those regions have lots of options outside of the NHL. My college's team (Div III, but very good) just started back up.

      "Maybe: it's a vicious little word that could slay me"--Sara Bareilles

      by ChurchofBruce on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 07:37:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What the "Fiscal Cliff" looks like in Hockey. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

    by xxdr zombiexx on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 05:41:37 PM PST

  •  Surely Romney can intercede? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Zack from the SFV

    He must know some NHL owners, right?

    It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged. G. K. Chesterton

    by redbaron on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 05:45:10 PM PST

  •  Union Yes! (3+ / 0-)

    It would seem to me that the NHL owners have a lot more to loose than the players. The players can loose their jobs, but the owners can loose all the value of their franchise and their revenue stream.

    Strike! Strike! Strike!

    A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward. Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by notrouble on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 05:48:45 PM PST

    •  the average player career is very short (3+ / 0-)

      something like 5 years.  Even superstars generally have 10-15 years to set themselves up for life.  Most of these guys have no other life skills but hockey since they needed to focus exclusively on hockey to make it to the pros.  So losing a single year of hockey hurts the players big time.  

      The owners have other investments.  

    •  yea, but the players lose their paychecks (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Zack from the SFV, sethtriggs

      Basically, this is a small cabal of owners that want Bettman to save them from themselves.  Basically, they overpaid for their players and now want the contracts unilaterally rolled back.  It's unfair to those teams that were more responsible with their finances, it's unfair to those players who have a contract in hand.  

      This whole lockout is nothing more than Bettman doing his usual dirty tricks negotiating ploys.  

  •  Players Should Ditch the Owners (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tobendaro, sethtriggs

    What value do the owners add?

    The players should play. Organize a PHL (Professional Hockey League/Players Hockey League) with fewer teams, spread the all stars around, rent college arenas, line up some sponsors, and broadcast on the Internet if necessary. Sure, they'll take a financial hit in the near term, but they get to keep 100% of the profits as the owners-players. If previous owners want to bid on PHL facilities contracts, great. Otherwise ignore them.

    The value in the league is almost entirely in the players. Nobody would pay to see an owner skate.

  •  we might lose hockey? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Zack from the SFV, sethtriggs

    Sweet. Frees up space on the dial for sports or other things of value. Oh wait. There is no hockey on TV because almost no one wants to watch hockey anyway. BTW I live in Detroit AKA "hockey town" and no one, and I mean no one, who actually lives in the city gives a crap about hockey. No one. Them is 'burbs folks.

    Just joking. Kind of.

    It is important the owners lose this fight because they are being incredibly unreasonable and greedy and because the (few) people who care about hockey don't pay because they are interested in the owners. The players produce the value and deserve the spoils. And if they break the union in this sport it will spread to those I and most Americans care about.

    I support the hockey union - and I find hockey repulsive.

  •  Going Galt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy, sethtriggs

    Since the owners have gone Galt, perhaps it's time for the players to find new owners.

    God gave you free will to define God, use it to make the best God that you can.

    by Dotty Gale on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 05:54:36 PM PST

  •  What surprises me (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Zack from the SFV

    is how much I don't miss the game.  My hockey was played in the 70s and 80s;  what they play now has no resemblance to that.  

    My own experience with head injuries has also changed my point of view.  Much as I loved old-time hockey, I recognize that unless we're willing to watch a game that's horribly dangerous, we can't have it.  

    Millionaires versus billionaires, Mr. Snider a Randian...makes it easier to leave it all behind.

    "Republicans are poor losers and worse winners." - My grandmother, sometime in the early 1960s

    by escapee on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 05:58:31 PM PST

  •  Do you know the source? (0+ / 0-)

    Larry Brooks has a well-deserved rep as something of a shill for the NHLPA.  His rep is someone who will consistently write pro-player, anti-owner articles in exchange for insider access to the players.  

    The owners are dicks, but Brooks' portrayal of the NHLPA as blameless is laughable.

  •  alternative league composed of locked out players (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Zack from the SFV

    heck, call it the WHA

    yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 06:00:53 PM PST

  •  Thank you for posting on this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Zack from the SFV

    There is a great book out on Bettman that encapsulates everything this article emphasizes which is that he hates to and refuses to lose. The league/owners by and large took it on the chin for the 2004-05 being canceled and their PR war to avoid the same this time around is full-scale.

    I started off this lockout thinking the revenue share was the major sticking point and it's become clearer over time that Bettman's ego is the major sticking point. The players have already given up a significant amount going from 57% revenue share way down. The contract rights demands are absurd.

    I'm proud to serve as Director of Online Programs at the Courage Campaign.

    by Adam Bink on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 06:03:16 PM PST

  •  Sharks Fan Here (8+ / 0-)

    NHL league owners:  you suck.

    Just when you had turned the corner on US television -- to where you were more popular (in certain markets) than NCAA Div II basketball, you choose to blow it.

    All of Hockey fandom hates YOU, NHL. Not the players. Good luck building the brand back before 2020.

    We will never have the elite, smart people on our side. - Rick Santorum

    by easong on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 06:04:21 PM PST

  •  Canadiens fan here... (6+ / 0-)

    I agree. NHL owners, you suck. You do have such short memories. Maybe that's not all that's short...

    Vous pouvez tous aller faire quelque chose biologiquement impossible.

    Twice.

    Sideways.

    Everyone, rich or poor, deserves a shelter for the soul. -- Sam Mockbee ~~~For handmade silver jewelry, click here.~~~

    by Lorinda Pike on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 06:10:21 PM PST

  •  Bettman is pure scum (3+ / 0-)

    He cares not for the game, but whatever asset value he can squeeze from it.  It's not even all about the dollars.  He just wants to get over on people at the negotiating table.  If he gains a concession, he will just try and squeeze you for more.  An agreement is not an agreement until he signs the dotted line.  Before that, he's just a lying weasel who will try every dirty trick to gain an edge.  Bettman doesn't care about the game.  Everything's just a big chess board, and hockey is nothing more than his pawn.  

    At the negotiating table, he will lie and obfuscate, and basically try every dirty trick in the book to squeeze every last concession out of you.  Even if he has an oral agreement in place, he will then try ramming additional terms and conditions through.  This latest ploy is nothing more than his usual bait and switch tactics.  

    The last NHL lockout, I didn't care who won.  I thought both sides were unreasonably dug in, and we lost the Stanley Cup playoffs as a result.  

    This time around, it's entirely on the owners.  They have a new TV deal, and the NHL is making more money than ever.  If a cabal of irresponsible owners overpaid for their players, then they need to either take the losses or sell their teams to someone who can afford it.  

    Problem is that Bettman just wants a cabal of owners that he can control, and anyone buying into the league, Bettman will basically try to bleed them dry for the privilege.  

    More than anything, Bettman would rather cancel the season and wreck the NHL (perhaps permanently) in the process, than concede a negotiation.  

  •  I'm having a hard time... (0+ / 0-)

    ...caring about this "labor" issue

  •  Bargaining (3+ / 0-)

    This is the new way Management negotiates contracts these day. Lockout workers. Demand they accept the company's offer. Let them rot on the picket line for as long as they can. It's union busting.

  •  Hockey is a rugged, rough-and-tumble sport. (0+ / 0-)

    We're acclimated to it.

    PS: Don't get between the owner of a major sports franchise and his/her money.

    FORWARD to 2014: Win back the House. Build up the Senate.

    by TRPChicago on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 06:26:16 PM PST

  •  Start a new league (2+ / 0-)

    Let the NHL owners continue to pay for their expensive arenas.

    My city does not currently have an NHL franchise mostly because the league was demanding an expensive new arena.  The city has recently made a deal with a hedge fund guy and 2 local billionaires to fund and build such an arena and acquire a team.  Unfortunately, these rich guys are getting to use the city's credit and tax free bonds to finance this.  

    The thing is, there is a perfectly useable arena that seats about 18-20 thousand that would work for professional hockey or basketball.  So, if the former NHL players started their own professional league, they have options in many cities.  

    --United Citizens defeated Citizens United...This time. --

    by chipoliwog on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 06:31:09 PM PST

  •  I'm not clear on how NHL survives these. (0+ / 0-)

    Their labor issues are far worse than other leagues (although I'm of the opinion that long-term injuries are a ticking time bomb in the NFL, where the players' Union is comparatively weak).  Although there are a few core cities where hockey is very popular, people in expansion cities like Phoenix are not really going to notice that hockey's gone.  IMHO, the owners will win the battle but lose the war.

    "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

    by auron renouille on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 06:50:45 PM PST

  •  The cities build the venues (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nota bene

    The fans pay the salaries.

    Remind me why we need the billionaires at all?

    To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

    by UntimelyRippd on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 06:58:25 PM PST

  •  Maybe use a different model than ownership (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    Ticketmaster puts on concerts all around the country.  The rent the venue, sell tickets, pay the performers.  The bands get paid, hire road crews, and buy equiptment.

    Could such a scheme work in sports?  A central agency, either independent or owned by the players, sells tickets, rents venues, and pays the team.   Each team is like a band.  They get paid, and in turn pay their costs.

    The NHL does need the players.  Hockey is fairly dull without them.  But I'm not sure owners are needed or even desirable at this point.

  •  what's really infuriating about this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    equalityrules

    last year's playoffs were a tremendous success, with several different teams advancing that haven't had much postseason success. Interest was way up league-wide. The Winter Classic has been gaining momentum. The NHL was on its way up as of June.

    And now Bettman & the owners are just lighting it all on fire. Makes you wonder if the NHL will cease to exist in five years. Nobody will watch scab players, and the familiar regulars are going to be dispersed to Europe by next summer if this keeps up. Heckuva job.

    The owners have no leverage and no allies. The only thing they can do is sling mud at the players' union and hope for the best. I mean, hiring Frank Luntz, seriously?

    Views Differ On Shape Of Planet

    by nota bene on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 07:17:25 PM PST

  •  Blues fan here (0+ / 0-)

    I agree--the owners suck. The Blues have never won the Cup, but I've loved watching them play since I was a kid. I miss the lads!

    This comment is a natural product. The slight variations in spelling and grammar enhance its individual character and beauty and in no way are to be considered flaws or defects.

    by blue muon on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 08:19:03 PM PST

  •  Not having to listen to Pierre McGuire is the one (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    megisi

    good thing about the lockout.   I'm thinking the fans should have their own demands on returning.  The first condition should be that Pierre McGuirre is not allowed on any broadcast of NHL games.

  •  I'll give ya hockey... (0+ / 0-)

    Little Gary Bettman was a seething mutant swine
    At school jocks called him Gidget Midget till he ran home cryin'
    So he got him some accountin' and a fancy law degree
    And threw his pee wee weight around at David Sterno's knee
    Oh happy day he got his chance to run the NHL
    Revenge is mine you jocks, he said, piss off and go to hell.

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