Those crazy NHL owners and members of the NHLPA sure do know how to give you one heck of a roller coaster ride. If they did this on an annual basis, Disneyland, Six Flags and any other similar type of amusement park would go out of business in a matter of seconds.
First the season is lost. Then it’s likely to be saved. Then it’s going poof again. Then one of the sides is likely to save the day again. Good grief, make up your minds already! This whole maddening process has been a lot like watching a three-year-old try to decide which toy he wants to take with him to the sandbox.
Ah, but this is part of the “fun”–if such a word can be used in this context–of negotiating. There is back and forth, give and take, ups and downs. It’s all part of the game. The question is who will blink first and who is likely to give in more? The NHL’s fans are ticked off (and rightfully so) by the daily shenanigans that have been going on these past handful of months, including well before the players were locked out on September 15th. But this is not unlike other negotiations that occur in sports. The biggest difference is that unlike most civil negotiations, this one is being played out like the social media world’s newest soap opera.
Yes, the NHL has the dubious distinction of being the only “major” professional sports league to have canceled an entire season. Yes, they are in danger (and have been in danger since the moment the NHLPA hired Donald Fehr to represent them two years ago) of having yet another season get washed down the drain. Yes, the goodwill and fuzzy feelings of hope that have been spread around in the media the past two days has a chance of going up in smoke because any agreements that are made still have to get approved by Gary Bettman and Co. But where there is smoke, there is fire, and when those things exist, you know there is the possibility that something will get done.
Yes, there is just as much likelihood at this point that the season will be saved as there is that it will explode by the end of the day, but that’s what passes for fun in this process, this insane thing we should start calling December Delirium.