While hockey fans wait for news of more talks between the league and NHLPA, it seems that the league’s perspective of the situation has been prominent in media coverage.
Unlike the lockout in 2004, where coverage was saturated with the league’s view, social media has given the NHLPA and the players a voice. Through Twitter, Facebook and other platforms, the union and its members have voiced their opinion on the negotiations and have rallied fans across the country.
Recently, the NHLPA tweeted a link to their site, where they list myths and facts about the labor talks and gives their side of the story. Their chart shows what has been reported by the media–that is, the league’s point of view–and counters it with their side of the argument.
Gary Bettman said about a potential lockout: “Both sides have to bear responsibility. Whether it’s a strike or a lockout, it makes zero difference.”
A lockout is very much a choice; no law compels a lockout. The owners seem intent on making that choice, and doing so at the first possible moment. They have experience in locking the players out: this will be the third consecutive lockout since Bettman became NHL Commissioner. The players have not even considered a strike.
The law allows for the season to start on time under the terms of the existing CBA so long as both sides are willing to do so. The players are willing to continue to negotiate and also continue to work until a deal is reached that is fair to both sides. The owners, apparently, are not so willing. If training camps and the 2012-13 NHL season do not start on time, it will be the owners’ decision and their decision alone.
In today’s world, with a steady stream of information, coverage of major events can longer be dominated by one side or the other. As the possibility of a lockout nears, the players and their union are beginning to be heard.