So here we are, 12 hours from the third NHL lockout in my lifetime… Third.
There wasn’t a lockout in the previous 70 plus years in the league, but since the reign of terror know as the Gary Bettman era the NHL has set a record in futility of the collective bargaining agreement.
You would think the league would’ve learned after the last lockout which cost them the season and alienated an entire fan base. The sport had already been blasted out of the national spotlight and was passed in popularity temporarily by NASCAR.
It took the NHL a while to get their feet back under them but they did with the birth of the Winter Classic, and a young core of stars that has brought new fans to the game.
And here they are about to throw it all away… Again.
So no one cares about the fans here I guess. No thought is given to the fans in Columbus who’ll miss out on an all-star game, or the fans in L.A. waiting to raise a banner on a long sought after title.
The greed of the owners in this league is sickening.
Seven years ago yes the league needed a proper financial structure. Contracts were getting out of hand and the big guys were eating up the little ones. That lockout was worth it in a sense. The NHL in a better financial state than years prior even though most teams in the southern states continue to lose money.
Here’s a thought for the owners, stop giving out these ridiculous ten plus year deals and have normal contracts then you can save yourselves money. The contracts given to guys like Ilya Kovalchuk and Roberto Luongo don’t make a lick of sense and will eventually kill the owners pockets.
However, that’s not even the largest crime here, it’s the lack of urgency in the owners or Bettman to make anything happen.
Three days ago the Bettman ok’d an agreement to lockout the players if a greener wasn’t reached by tonight. Nothing has happened since. There has been little bargaining and little caring.
Why isn’t Bettman putting pressure on either side? Doesn’t he realize another lockout would possibly kill the sport for good? Losing the Winter Classic this year would be a huge blow especially since in Michigan where the Red Wings are king.
Bettman is the ultimate owners pawn. He has no backbone to tell them anything and offers no real solutions in any form other than sitting there and doing what they say.
He is once again the champion of the world as the worst sports commissioner, possibly of all-time. His constant bumbling is about cost the NHL more fans, more credibility and more money.
And we can’t do anything about it because the owners would be stupid to fire him.
So here we are hockey fans looking at another lockout shortened season.
No banner raising in L.A., no Rick Nash debut in New York, no excitement in Minnesota with the acquisitions of Ryan Suter and Zach Parise… Nothing.
For the third time commissioner Bettman and the owners will cost us hockey for an extended period of time and we have to sit here and take it.
If Gary Bettman doesn’t fix this and soon then he’ll be another fan short. As much as I love my Rangers I won’t go through this again, I’d rather take my jersey throw it away and never look back.
Yeah, I’m at that point with the NHL right now.