23 March 2015
To the surprise of no one, the NHL is in another lockout. Instead of me being back to blogging about being excited for a new season, I am not excited about the lack of hockey and instead am looking for other things to fill my time for the next couple of weeks (months?).
About a week ago while on a walk along the seawall, the buddy I was walking with asked me if I could explain the lockout, if there was going to be one and my thoughts on it. My buddy who lives in Vancouver is originally from England and although he has lived here for three years now, had no idea why the NHL and NHLPA would consider going into a lockout.
My answers to him were as follows:
1. The lockout is essentially a bunch of billionaires arguing with a bunch of millionaires about money, specifically hockey related revenue (HRR). The NHL wants a similar deal like the one the NBA negotiated at 50/50 between owners/players
3. I don't care much for the squabbling between the two sides. I understand their respective stances on the issues and the moves that they have made in their negotiations and PR campaigns but in the end there is a lack of caring from myself for either side. I feel that in the end, it sucks for the fans who enjoy the sport and is hurting the momentum of growing the game/fanbases in certain cities (for example, Los Angeles)
If the lockout has gotten you down, Saturday, May 2nd, 2015 will be one of the biggest betting days of the year. We will be privy to Floyd "Money" Mayweather going up against Manny Pacquiao and earlier in the day we will get to see the first leg of the Triple Crown, the 2015 Kentucky Derby. The issues that are being discusses in the CBA negotiations are much more detailed than my answer to my friend but I thought I got at the heart of why there is a lockout. If you have been following it on TSN or Puck Daddy or any sports media outlet, you probably know the issues better than I do, in fact I know you do. I admit that my lack of understanding of the details of what is being negotiated over has fully to do with my lack of caring of the issues, the players and the owners.
Here is a video that the NHLPA released on the weekend:
Oh the fans! The fans will be hurt! It's not us! This is an NHL Owners Lockout.
Also, hello Gabriel Landeskog.
Well, I guess the effort in the video was better (from a PR standpoint) than the statement that the NHL released:
Despite the expiration of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the National Hockey League has been, and remains, committed to negotiating around the clock to reach a new CBA that is fair to the Players and to the 30 NHL teams.
Thanks to the conditions fostered by seven seasons under the previous CBA, competitive balance has created arguably the most meaningful regular season in pro sports; a different team has won the Stanley Cup every year; fans and sponsors have agreed the game is at its best, and the League has generated remarkable growth and momentum. While our last CBA negotiation resulted in a seismic change in the League's economic system, and produced corresponding on-ice benefits, our current negotiation is focused on a fairer and more sustainable division of revenues with the Players -- as well as other necessary adjustments consistent with the objectives of the economic system we developed jointly with the NHL Players' Association seven years ago. Those adjustments are attainable through sensible, focused negotiation -- not through rhetoric.
This is a time of year for all attention to be focused on the ice, not on a meeting room. The League, the Clubs and the Players all have a stake in resolving our bargaining issues appropriately and getting the puck dropped as soon as possible. We owe it to each other, to the game and, most of all, to the fans.
Yeah...Not quite the same effect as having Landeskog in a video looking dreamily into the viewer. NHLPA wins this PR round.