Well, it looks as if The National Hockey League will lock out their players tomorrow since no progress was made yesterday to come up with a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The question on everyone’s mind now is how long it will last.
I knew this was going to happen. I have seen it all before. Both the players and the owners are doing the same thing that they did in previous labour negotiations. Swapping proposals and rejecting them.
Heres my solution. Why don’t they take a proposal, sit down, talk about the pros and cons of the potential deal and come up with a compromise. Instead, they much rather fight over revenues and contracts.
The NHL wanted to limit the contracts given to young players in the initial proposal given to the Players Association. From what I understood, the league wanted to put a clause in which players who have played for less than 10 years in the NHL could only be offered multi-year contracts that were no more than five years in length. This did not sit well with the players and who can blame them. Shortly after the proposal was made, The Edmonton Oilers went and signed Taylor Hall to a seven year contract. I think that’s pretty hypocritical to me don’t you? If the owners was serious about this issue, wouldn’t it have made sense for Edmonton to sign Hall to a contract which would span five years or less?
Commissioner, Gary Bettman also made it clear that the owners wanted to tighten the salary cap and yet the owners have been signing multi-million dollar deals since July 1st. A good example is Sidney Crosby. He signed a 10-year, $104 million contract this summer and there’s no telling whether he’s a 100%. Don’t forget, he has been dealing with a concussion for the past couple of years.
A couple of days ago, Bettman said the fans would like a long term CBA deal (players wanted four years, NHL wants six years). A well known Toronto sports radio broadcaster responded by saying the fans just want to see hockey. They don’t want to listen to any of this stuff. I totally agree.
Even though I would like a long term deal (10 years would be more like it), most fans don’t really care about the busness side of sports. All they want to is watch the games and cheer on their favourite teams.
If the players and owners don’t get it together by November, it could a long cold winter for many hockey fans especially in Canada where hockey rules.