Just Bitchin’ – NHL Negotiations…..Lockout Looming?

I’m having a difficult time with this one.

For those who haven’t been following the story, the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the NHL and the Players’ Association expires September 15th.  NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has stated that the players will be locked out (not allowed to play) if an agreement isn’t negotiated and signed prior to the old one running out.

Players are being asked to take a reduction in salary (among other things) with the monies gathered by doing this used to spread the wealth among the weaker financial teams.  It appears that the players are interested in the idea of stronger financial teams aiding weaker ones, but expect the owners to pay for it.  The franchise owners want the players to foot the bill.

I’m sure I have made this sound uncomplicated –  there are other issues on the table that I won’t even pretend to understand – so I am sticking to the one I do get….. not that it matters a whole lot given what I’m about to offer up next.

My question is this:  If a franchise can’t make a go of it, it generally means that there isn’t a large enough audience both interested in going to hockey games and willing to pay high ticket prices to do so.  Why on earth are there hockey clubs in these cities in the first place?  Who made what should have been a “sound business decision” when an NHL franchise was awarded to these “weaker teams”??  Why should successful hockey teams be penalized?  Who decided there needed to be expansion, expansion and more expansion??  If weaker teams are “subsidized”  what will ensure those teams continue to make every effort to become independent of hockey welfare???

I could get into an entirely new theme if I started to chat about the ridiculous salaries some of the players earn – and/or the cost of attending a hockey game in a place like Toronto, New York or even Ottawa…..but I won’t go there today.

I believe the NHL and the Players’ Association owe it to hockey fans to find a way to reach agreement and avoid a lockout.  Why make a bad situation worse? How will a lockout help hockey??  The world is becoming a greedy place!

I’m sure my nephew, the ultimate hockey buff, will quickly correct any misunderstandings on my part – so watch for his comments!!


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