Well, the National Hockey League has done it again!
On Wednesday morning, reports began to surface about the league allowing team management personnel to speak one-on-one to their players regarding the NHL’s latest offer in an attempt to sway them towards agreeing to it.
This allowance comes after the owners and general managers were forbidden from speaking to their players, and were threatened with heavy fines if they were to do so — including a $1 million penalty for offering any thoughts about the ongoing Collective Bargaining Agreement mess.
Think about this: back in September, Scott Hartnell held his charity golf tournament, where, among others, Bobby Clarke, Peter Laviolette, and Paul Holmgren were scheduled to attend. Those three did not show up, because they weren’t allowed to. They weren’t allowed to play golf and interact with fans and their players for a good cause, but now they’re allowed to talk to their guys so long as it gets the end result the league wants?
Sounds like a bunch of bull to me.
Wednesday’s report comes just a little over a week after it was revealed that the NHL had hired a big-named PR group to try and sway the public’s positive opinion in their direction. Then, the league turned around and made an offer that sounded great on the surface, but not-so-great between the lines. The league got what they wanted, somewhat; there were indeed some fans who began to blame the players once they turned the offer down. But, for the most part, that move just made the fans even more displeased with the NHL and its 30 owners, just as this move certainly has.
Enough with the tactics. Enough with trying to sway public opinion in your favor. The longer the lockout goes on, the less happy fans are going to be. Instead of hiring PR firms and giving your owners the green light to negotiate (but not negotiating yourself), sit down and negotiate. You know what the fans want, and that’s a season. A shortened one is bad enough, but losing a full season is completely absurd.
All of the measures taken to make yourself look good have backfired on you, NHL. It’s time to stop trying to make yourself look good and do what’s right for the sport of hockey.