I’m sure this is what the mediators thought they saw when walking into either room. They probably would have been better off talking to this guy anyway.
It’s hard to splice out all the emotion and frustration I feel as yet another completely reasonable solution or mechanism on the path to an agreement was completely tossed upon the rocks and shoals of stupidity, stubborness, and obtuse-ness that the NHL and the NHLPA have become. It’s not surprise, it’s surprise at how predictable it all was. Because this level of idiocy simply shouldn’t be predictable. When something this truly devoid of any intelligence happens, we should be shocked that any part of the human race can get to that point.
But we’re not.
If you haven’t read Michael Grange’s piece on Marvin Miller’s legacy and his opinion on how Donald Fehr is missing it from Sportsnet.com, I urge you to read it. Because I think it sums up where this blog has been coming from.
We have never been pro-this or anti-that. We’re anti all of it. And the point we tried to make, and the point Grange is trying to make, is that the PA had to decide what kind of losses did they want to accept. Much earlier than this date, they could have accepted a temporary hit to this year’s salary, possibly a much smaller hit next year if at all, and be right back where they are now, prepared to still profit from the growth of the sport from there on out. Had they done so back then, they could have lessened the risk of permanent damage to the sport.
But they chose to scrap and save what they can now, and now they’re looking at maybe never getting back to what they have now. If they do, it’s much farther down the line than it was not so long ago.
Was that deal the NHL offered in October perfect? God no. It wasn’t even close. But in licensing their leader to not “get a deal to play hockey” but to “win”, they’re employing every tactic he knows. And that involves never discussing any NHL proposal, just as they won’t discuss theirs. It could have taken days.
Now these two sides are essentially Marvin the Martian and Duck Dodger firing huge missiles at each other, and left to claim victory over just a burnt spec of the plane they were once fighting over.
At this point, the players aren’t going to win. They aren’t even going to get a deal they like. It’s unlikely they’ll get one that they’d even call fair. From what I can gather, they’re just trying to get a deal the owners won’t “love.” But in the end, what’s the point? Why pull all this to kill the league and leave yourself with barely anything, no matter your percentage?
Obtuse. It’s just the word I keep coming back to.
That’s where our frustration lies.