Oh, I Bet You Thought You Were Talking To Adults

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.

  • “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.” Perfect analogy

  • I really want to find an animated gif of a slow clap starting. I really do but I, like so many other hockey fans I know, have become jaded and ambivalent towards the agencies locked in the slow game of Russian Roulette. Thing is, as Sam has so eloquently stated, it really appears as if the league is using a pistol that they know is empty while handing the PA a revolver with one round and spinning the cylinder each time.

    It does really appear to be merely a matter of time before the players are whipped by the empty bank accounts of the lower salaried players and the need for them to get back on the ice and start collecting paychecks again. Summed up perfectly, Sam. Summed up perfectly. If it had been resolved earlier rather than later, I believe that the players would have been better off. The longer it goes on, the more the deck just stacks in the favor of the league. I’m tired of seeing the dog and pony show that the meetings have become, just so we can see the “they started it” pressers that inevitably follow.

    I’m tired and sad, and they are – yes… Obtuse.

  • John

    Sam … When Fehr was name ‘idiot in charge’ of the NHLPA I told a friend (and long-time STH) it did NOT bode well !!!! He and mini-me are, sadly, proving me to be right! Just a damn shame!