NHLPA Can’t Afford to Crack

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ERIC THAYER /REUTERS

By Steven Ellis, Staff Writer, All Habs Hockey Magazine

OAKVILLE, ON — Fans around the world have been severely affected by the third NHL work stoppage during Count Bettman’s  infamous tenure as the NHL’s  commissioner. I have been vocal through social media about the fact that I don’t solely blame Gary for the lockout, as he is a figurehead for the side making the harshest demands.  In my view they are the rich, greedy owners that make the most money from the sport that the athletes play and love for our entertainment.

That’s what really bugs me. The players are the ones who make the money for the owners. Money is what makes them rich. So why, oh why, can they not just give the players what they want? Without the on-ice talent, the owners have nothing. However, Bettman and the owners seem more interested in waiting for the players to crack so they can increase the weight of their wallets once the “cattle” hit the ice once again.

The players have many other options besides the NHL. If you are Sidney, or Steven or Claude, you know the talent you hold and the cash you create from your skill. At some point, the owners will eventually figure out that the players are truly what makes them money, and will try to do anything in their power to bring them back to the arenas. Obviously, it’s not like playing in the NHL, however the players aren’t completely locked out.

If you’re a player you love Donald Fehr and it’s pretty clear why. He doesn’t take crap from the league, Bettman or anybody else who opposes him. You know he’s going to stop at nothing to get the players what they want, and he doesn’t care what Bettman or the owners feel about him. He listens to the players, and will stop at nothing to make sure that the guys covered by the NHLPA get the freedom and money they deserve. If a season is lost, so be it. There will be many, many others to look forward to in the future.

The NHL will threaten with many tactics to make the players give up, such as suggesting replacement players or blaming them for

ERIC THAYER /REUTERS

letting the league down. The owners have proposed drastic change,and the  players, have basically proposed little or no change and for the owners to solve their problems by reaching into each other’s pockets. The union’s position is basically to say “no,” and while that is understandable against the very  questionable demands of owners who couldn’t give two peanuts about the game itself.  If you ask me, the players just gotta hold their ground.

Fehr helped establish the union structure, and just like him, its bulletproof. Which is why I think the players should not give up and ensure that they win the war in the end. We should understand that a longer lockout could likely produce happier results for the two sides. Of course we want to see the best in the world play, however if the players aren’t happy the next time the CBA expires, this could just be a recurring thing.

We don’t want that, do we? Maybe this lockout isn’t such a bad thing.

Please submit your comments.

Follow me on Twitter: @StevenEllisNHL

 

1 COMMENT

  1. Submitted by Gordon via email:

    Here are my comments on the lockout—–both sides are right and yet both sides are wrong.Again neither factor in the fans.Times change and we have to adjust to changing times.Ask someone who held RIM stock 4 years ago.Did Bettman ever lace on a pair of skates and play the game? I doubt it.-In the millioares vs the billionaires clash the average fan has difficulty relating to all the dollars tossed about—-except it’s a way above what they get in a lifetime doing their job.-For half the owners the lockout saves them money so they don’t sweat it-After october some of the players will be in financial distress

    Part of the problem is that there are too many team in the sun belt areas that need to be propped up finacially. Eliminate about four teams that don’t have fan support-and a lot of the problem is solved—The large number of teams in the USA that don’t have signiificant hockey interest is compliments of mr Bettman—-It’s time for a new commissioner—-someone who has a real,genuine interest in the game.

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