I’m Gary Bettman (NHL Commissioner) and I approve this message: The Players Union sent three proposals that do not even speak the same language as the NHL Owners. I feel like we’re not speaking the same language and that we took a step backwards.
I’m Donald Fehr (NHLPA Head) and I approve this message: The owners will tell you their deal is fair, but it is set up for the players to lose a billion and a half dollars compared to the current. I haven’t done the math on all of our proposals, but I know ours are better.
It’s really hard to believe that in an election season that has become so polarized and negative that there are two oblivious executives who think we could care anymore about petty political trips. Maybe the Canadians can tune out President Obama and Mitt Romney mudslinging, but there is no website online safe from it for Americans.
Hockey is supposed to be a stress relief, a way to escape reality in a game we love. Yet sitting here two and a half weeks away from the presidential election with a forecast for things getting worse, especially in Colorado, where the polls in the presidential race are showing a difference of less than one percent, hockey is only adding to the political despair. I actually think the presidential election is more civil because at least they are addressing some of the issues, if not actually answering questions.
The secret Republican focus group being employed by the NHL Owners to change the PR battle set off the last week of events. Their proposal, which recommended fifty percent/fifty percent revenue split, but only at a huge cost to the players, was a direct reaction to the negative feedback they were receiving. However, once they put it on the table, they were so proud of themselves that they felt no need to bargain once the players brought their own proposals, which tried to deliver on the owners promise not to cut salaries. The two sides then blamed each other and the owners counted the day as a political victory? But are the fans so easily manipulated?
If we can survive election season without hockey, we can survive the holiday season, the new year, Valentine’s Day (especially Colorado Avalanche fans who remember the Valentine’s Day Massacre so fondly) and before you know it, the league will be gone a year again. Instead of getting anything accomplished yesterday, the owners and players simply eroded their fan base a little bit more.
Instead of watching the Vancouver Canucks and Detroit Red Wings Monday Night, hockey fans can tune into another Presidential Debate. I’d rather listen to Romney and Obama than Bettman and Fehr anyway.