I promise not too post much about the CBA talks, in fact this may be the only time. I did want to discuss an interesting item though and would love to know your thoughts.
In any negotiation, being familiar with the other side and their tactics is important. It’s also vital to be aware of things like indifference to the outcome, previous actions and the points in the negotiations in which they occur.
I have to tell you, I don’t see a way for the players to win this on any level. On September 15th, Bettman will announce a lockout. As exhibition games (all money for the owners btw) get cancelled the negotiations become more difficult and the clock ticks.
Last time, the season was cancelled three months after the lockout was imposed. From what we read, the players side remains focused on negotiating based on the previous CBA and the old HRR. The owners side has moved on and refuses to go back, and today’s break happened because of this fracture.
My question is this: what do the players have at their disposal to use as a hammer? They are the ones who risk losing a season of their careers, while the owners close up their game of Monopoly and put it in amongst the games of Sorry, Operation, Snakes and Ladders, Trouble and Kerplunk.
Gary Bettman has killed a season before and is willing to do it again. Nothing is more powerful in a negotiation than indifference in regard to the outcome. How do you manage crazy?
And the second question is this: if the owners are willing to be this reckless with the game, with their reputations and with the fans, why on earth are we staying?
Seriously. It’s a game on ice with skates, sticks, pucks and a goal. We can enjoy it on another level, should we choose to. I think it is a very healthy process for each of us to examine our love of the game, the reasons we enjoy it and the reasons we are angry about where it is headed.
I think the answer might be that we’ve created a monster. The fans are sacrificed, seasons of players are sacrificed and all because Ed Snider doesn’t want to hand one dime to Peter Karmanos. I get that, hell if I were Snider I’d feel the same way. Still, I don’t care about Snider or Karmanos. This silliness is impacting my devotion to this beautiful game as presented by the NHL. I’m not angry, but rather confused by my own behaviour. In what other part of my life would I consider this kind of treatment acceptable?
I can’t think of any.