I Hope It’s Worth All The Noise

Not only did that picture fit with the title, but this is the level of intelligence I think the leaders that be are at.

Maybe it wasn’t the worst, but this was one of the worst weekends to go through as an NHL fan. Not only was the gaping hole where our Black Friday game impossible to ignore as I attempted to watch LSU-Arkansas or something just as non-sensical, but the amount of noise, bullshit, and downright stupidity ramped up even more in the past few days. Add to that the frustration we are feeling has piled up to the point where we are fighting with each other at a moment’s notice, and frankly I’m exasperated as to where to go from here.

It all started with the dueling tubas of lunacy that were Bill Daly and Steve Fehr giving radio interviews in Canada. Both used the pulpit to belch out more posturing and outright lies (we don’t have a negotiating partner!) which caused everyone to just get more lost than they already were.

Then of course, Dave Bolland landed himself on ESPN.com and Deadspin by retweeting someone who wanted Gary Bettman dead, and the events ended with our friend Scotty Hockey baiting uber-boob Bobby Ryan about his twitter feed. The fact that we’ve gotten to this point is just so moronic I’m not even sure vomit-with-rage covers it.

At the end of this, I think what we’re all angry with is the noise. I don’t care what anyone has to say, and I don’t want them to say anything until the words “We have a deal” start the sentence. Sure, I want to know from the reporters in tune what’s on the table and what’s being offered just so I have some gauge on what’s going on. But Daly or Fehr or Bettman or any of the players? Just shut the fuck up. You have nothing to add to this and only detract from it.

Is Bolland’s tweet going to change negotiations? Of course it isn’t? Can Bobby Ryan eat wherever he wants? Of course. But what I think angers some of us is that they’re under the impression we’re unconditionally on their side, and most of us are not. Most of us don’t want to hear from them at all when they’re not playing. We’re not here to simply scoop up whatever they deign to shovel us because we fawn over them so much. We woudn’t give a rat’s ass what they do if they didn’t play hockey, and it feels at times like they’ve forgotten us. You also can’t whine as a union about how unfair everything is and then act like this. Again, just shut up.

Then there’s this talk of decertification, as if it was some magical weapon. But the thing is, there’s a couple things wrong with the narrative of that tactic. A) though both the NBA and NFL players’ unions did go this route or threaten it, they still both got clocked in their CBAs anyway. B) you can’t use it simply as a tactic. The courts will throw it out. If you’re doing it, you have to do it for real and we’ll be here for two years. The PA simply doesn’t have the stones for that, and nor should they really.

At some point the players need to look at their NBA brethren, figure out they deserve nothing more than they got (and probably less), and starting figuring out how much they can tailor their deal to that one.

  • AirTrafficAJ

    I was driving around today when Chelsea Dagger came on the radio. Normally this tune is worth nothing more than a good natured eye-roll, but today it filled me with unfathomable sadness. This is what it’s come to now. They should be ashamed of themselves, but they have their heads so far up their asses they can’t see it. I’ve all but given up.

  • So after thinking about this lockout a bunch the last week or so, here’s what I’ve concluded:

    1) The owers don’t want a season. If they did, we’d have a deal by now.

    2) That isn’t to say the NHLPA are the good guys, they’re just sort of unlucky and also have leverage (i.e. playing in Europe).

    3) The NHL saw it like this: either the PA comes in right away and gives us what we want, or we smoke them out, lose the season, come back in the fall of ’13 with a deal that keeps the franchises of Nashville, Phoenix, Miami, Tampa, Carolina and a few other weak US markets (Columbus? Anaheim? Isles?) afloat. Also, the Bruins can pocket even more money. Everyone wins.

    4) The issue, from what I can tell, is that the NHL won’t admit that there are six or seven franchises that either should not exist or should be moved. You can change the financial structure between the NHL and NHLPA all you want… if no one in Tampa watches the Lightening they’re not going to make any money.

    5) The players and NHL both don’t want contraction. That isn’t helping things.

    6) Yes, the players probably do get too big of a piece of a pie in a sport where the pie isn’t all that big. It seems that the players realize this, but naturally don’t want to give all that much back.

    7) The players being able to go and play in Europe actually probably hurts them in the end. Just kicks the can down the road.

    8) Gary Bettman is a laughing stock who doesn’t have any credibility at this point. If he had any pride, he’d ‘retire’ once this mess is over with… however, seeing how the owners have used him as a punching bag for the last two decades, maybe he doesn’t realize this yet.

    What I can’t figure out:
    –Why are the owners of the ‘rich’ teams going along with this? Sure they’ll make money when the lockout ends as every fan will come back, but they’re also losing money this year.
    –Are the situations in the cities mentioned above so bad that the tax write off doesn’t make up for the loses? Or are they so bad that they are affecting the value of the franchises? That’s clearly the case in Phoenix, but what about the others?
    –The players had to know that they were going to have to give a 50/50 split the moment the lockout started, so why haven’t they been more aggressive from the get go in getting to 50/50?

    Finally, going back to point 4, which really is a head scratchier… is this a rhetorical question or is it insane reasoning: the NHL was willing to move Atlanta but they won’t move Phoenix?

    Sorry, this was so long.

    • Black JEM

      The length is fine! But in quick answer to it I would say –
      1 – neither of them do
      2 – they are more than unlucky, they are greedy too
      3 – possibly
      4 – without a national footprint the increased TV money, and prospects for more of it disappear – this is what the owners know and the PA refuses to admit – without the national footprint the share the PA gets will go down because the pie will shrink – in this regards the owners are correct
      5 – But the players are struggling with what that means, since a majority of them think they will do OK the PA is throwing a portion of its membership under the bus – which is fine, but highly cynical given their PR efforts
      6 – Agreed – and a perfectly reasonable opinion for them to hold
      7 – Probably
      8 – That laughing stock has earned a lot of money for his employers, and for being the “laughing stock” he is paid handsomely
      Why is this going on? The rich teams realize the truth of a national league, not a regional one. They have seen their competitors in more lucrative sports attain these contractual provisions and the rich don’t mind getting richer. And I think they also think Fehr is a stinking piece of cow dung and they want to nail him. So Bettman can keep his faction together, which is no mean feat in and of itself, due in no small part to Fehr himself.
      The PA wants to win – not realizing that their increase in wages in the last agreement came after a “huge loss” last time – because they feel they lost last time. They hired Fehr not to get an agreement but to win. And they fail to remember that we cheer them for playing hockey – the fact that they all make more than most of us will ever dream of receiving just shows how out of touch they are as well. They live in their own glass house we all make to deal with life’s contradictions.
      Hence stalemate.

  • shinkicker

    I really thought (hoped?) hockey would be back by last Friday, and have been trying to keep a handle on my winey dispair but now it’s dark and cold out and I don’t know if I can make it through winter without hockey on my TV and in HD.

  • Skags

    Fuck them all.

  • Hawksinfour

    They can all go straight to hell. I’m done with them. No season tickets next year and if they come back this year I won’t be at the 1st game back.