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NHL Season officially in jeopardy, Gary Bettman speaks out

After it looked as though a bunch of progress was being made this week during the CBA negotiations, things took a monumental step back today.

Donald Fehr, the executive director of the NHL Players Association,  seems to be pulling the strings for the NHLPA and is convincing them that they can get a better deal, but it simply has not been happening.  There were discussions over what was most important and the owners have said they will make consolations if the players accept everything else, but every time the owners make a consolation, the players demand something else on top of it.

Gary Bettman’s specific quote from the press conference on this issue is as follows, “It appears that the union is suggesting that because we made substantial movements in certain areas, that we’re close to a deal. But those moves were contingent on the union specifically agreeing on other things; which while the union may have moved towards, didn’t agree to.”

The last NHL lockout, the owners demanded that the players accept everything, and when the players thought that was ridiculous, the owners cancelled the season.  After the season was cancelled, the players were forced to take an even worse CBA than the one they were offered to save the season.  I fear that this is the same path the NHLPA is taking again, and it is even worse this time around because they know what happens when they lose a full season.

NHL.com’s Dan Rosen says that the main issues for the new CBA are, “1) max 10-yr CBA, 2) shorter max length on contracts than PA’s 8-yr proposal; 3) no compliance issues, i.e. buyout agreements and limit on escrow.”

Basically, they are at odds over the same issues they have been during the whole lockout.  The NHLPA wants to continue to negotiate and they think that they carry weight in the negotiations, but the bottom line is that the owners won’t ever agree to a deal that they don’t think is worth it to them.  Don’t kid yourselves, very few of the owners actually care about the fans, they think of it like this: I can either operate my team and lose money, or I can just cancel the season and not spend a dime.  If you were in their position, which would you choose?

Yes, I think the owners are being ridiculous with this lockout, and they are killing the league to do it.  Quite honestly, I’m not sure if the NHL could recover from another lockout for the whole season.  Fans are upset, and I for one, will not give the owners or NHL teams another cent if they lockout for the whole season.  Even Gary Bettman is frustrated with this situation.

There are no new plans for any negotiations and after their most profitable year in league history, the NHL owners are on the brink of canceling the season.  Seems smart, don’t you think?

H/T: Puck Daddy

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