http://www.thestar.com/sports/hockey/nh ... ight-kelly
This guy raises a very good point...
“The owners want to change the economics of hockey. They want that more than the players want to make more money. Then it becomes an issue of leverage. And the owners have the leverage.”
This is what Fehr, an American with a background in that country’s national pastime, cannot see. There is no pressure from below, not in the States. ESPN doesn’t give a damn about this story, as they did in similar instances with the NFL, NBA and MLB. The PA’s PR machine is pumping out memos no one reads. The owners know that, and the owners are all Americans.
Far more importantly, while stoppages have badly wounded baseball and, to a lesser extent, basketball, they’ve been an odd spur to the NHL’s business. There’s a pecuniary case to be made that lockouts are good for hockey. Since the league’s revenue has grown to record highs in each of the years since the lost season of 2004-05, why wouldn’t owners want to access that cheap stimulus package again?
“I didn’t believe they’d lose the Winter Classic,” Krupin says. “When they let that go, I knew they were ready to lose the season. Now that it’s gone, there’s really no reason to have a season.”
What would you do now?
“If I was an owner, I’d hold pat.”
And if you were working for the PA?
“Try to negotiate on some small issues, to save face. Take what you can and live to fight another day.”
So — give in.
What we have now is the ragged end of a chess match between a master and a novice. Ownership is chasing the NHLPA’s king across the board toward an inevitable end, but the union does not have the sense to retire.
Surrender isn’t their best option. It’s the only one they have left.
They must now be coming to a realization that should have dawned on them from the outset, that management is not only willing to lose another season, but that it’s been hoping to all along.
And therein lies the problem for the NHLPA.
- There are too many teams that are fine with losing a season because they lose money, or aren't overly profitable, anyway.
- The teams that do turn a meaningful profit can't put enough power together to overturn a vote.
- Outside of Canada, there's not enough public support to pressure the league to play in the same way there was on the NFL, MLB, and NBA.
I'm going to be sorely disappointed when, after the NHLPA gives in to almost everything the owners want, there's still another lockout in 8-10 years. There's no way it doesn't happen because it'll be proven to be the perfect avenue for the owners to get virtually anything they want.