Neither the NHL’s Board of Governors, its Commissioner, nor the Players’ Association were able to come to an agreement on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement by the midnight deadline.
And so, the third lockout in the last 18 years has commenced, all under Gary Bettman’s watch.
The following is a message, in the emotion of the moment. Directed to Bettman, the 30 owners for whom he has been a perfect tool, the Fehr brothers and all the players, stolen from Roman Troy Moronie:
“You lousy cork-soakers. You have violated our farging rights. Dis somanumbatching sport was founded so that the enjoyment of common diehard citizens like us could not be taken away by a bunch of fargin iceholes… like yourselves.”
With no plans by either faction to sit down together at either union headquarters in Toronto or the NHL’ s offices in New York, what is left at the moment is to wonder how many preseason and regular-season games will be excised and when.
Though training camps don’t open until next Friday, with no serious talks scheduled in the upcoming week, the only ray of hope in these wee small hours of the morning, is that a deal may miraculously be consummated before the planned start of the regular season on Thursday, October 11.
In the hours leading up to the deadline, those of us hanging on for some word of redemption were once again subjected to the same entrenched rhetoric from either faction.
“We spoke today and determined that there was no point in convening a formal bargaining session in light of the fact that neither side is in a position to move off of its last proposal,” said NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly. “I’m sure we will keep in touch in the coming days and schedule meetings to the extent they might be useful or appropriate. We are sorry for where we are. Not what we hoped or expected.”
The news was no better from the other side, despite reports that the PA essentially ambushed the league with a request to meet face-to-face.
“Today we suggested that the parties meet in advance of the owners’ self-imposed deadline of midnight tonight. Don Fehr, myself and several players on the Negotiating Committee were in the city and prepared to meet. The NHL said that it saw no purpose in having a formal meeting. There have been and continue to be private informal discussions between representatives of both sides,” stated NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr.
NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr said earlier this week, a lockout is a choice. I’d like to remind fans of all stripes that enjoying the game of hockey, however casually or intensely you do it, is also a choice.
There are no shadowy men in black suits in a big black car coming over with a human-sized burlap sack to ensnare you and imprison you in some shadowy corner where even Google maps can’t find. No Major Toht to glower over you and threaten you with branding if you didn’t give over and immediately become a hockey fan. No pill, powder or needle forced into your body with the poison you have no choice to receive.
You got yourself into this, and you can get yourself out. It’s the same choice.
stated that the players are resolute now that the union is stronger than it was during the last lockout. Notice there was no allowance for the lost games, or the loyal paying customers, or arena staff who depend on those full 41 dates for income.
What’s the point of staying on point when the hand has forced the unthinkable option again? Is there anyone who sees how far the disconnect has become?
After a long history of a game grounded in the working classes of the United States and Canada, congratulations, NHL, you have at last accomplished one goal related to national relevance. You have sped down the same pock-marked trail the other three major pro sports in the U.S. already have blazed: a bunch of billionaires and millionaires fighting over their same slice of the bottomless pie.
Listen to the children of the night. What music they make.