Sunday, November 18, 2012

Give me back my hockey!

By Jeff

Yes, I'm channeling my inner Mel Gibson. No, not the anti-Semitic, anti-women drunk. I'm talking about the one in "Ransom" who wants his son back and kicks some ass to do it.

What the hell is wrong with the NHL? I would give the definition of insanity, but we've all heard the saying. But truly, the NHL is insane. They are pushing their fans to the brink.

We want hockey. We want to pay to go to games and we want to watch throughout the week. But it seems the NHL doesn't give a damn about those that make their business possible.

We've lost one season to CBA negotiations, and now three others have been shortened because owners and players can't agree.

There is not another major league in the country that has lost a season to labor disputes, yet the NHL may lose two in less than 10 years. That's embarrassing. It's a $3 billion business, and they can't find common ground?

One of the big sticking points right now is the contract rights. The league wants to limit the number of years a deal can have, as well as delaying free agency by a year.

I understand the idea behind limiting deals to 5 years, especially when you see they 10-year, mega-deals that circumvent the cap. Of course, the league could have hindered this by actually having a spine and rejecting all the deals like this, not just the Ilya Kovalchuk contract. At the same time, it was the OWNERS who gave these contracts in the first place!

As for delaying free agency until the 8th year of NHL service instead of 7, that's just stupid. If you have a player in your organization for 7 years and don't know if he is right for your team or ready for the NHL, then you need to fire your scouts/development team because they are failing.

Now, we don't officially know what's being said in these negotiations. But to me it seems like the players are being asked to give up more than the owners, again. You can only push a person so far until they can't take being pushed around anymore. That's where the players seem to be now.

If I lose the NHL this season, I will place all the blame on the owners. And I don't think I'm wrong.

David Essex - Rock On

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