by Cheval John
It has been almost three days since the National Hockey League (NHL) and the NHL Players Union reached a deal that ended the 113-day lockout that canceled most of the season including the 2013 Winter Classic.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, issued an apology to the fans, players and sponsors today for the prolonged lockout and said that he “understand their frustration.
He added that they will now focus more on the ice because the CBA agreement is for 10 years and that will allow them to regain trust with the fans.
In reality, I don’t buy it.
The reason is because they had plenty of time to avoid the lockout because the previous one canceled the 2004-05 season and that left a void in North American sports.
If they had really understand, then they would have done everything that they can to reach a new deal and started the 2012-13 season without a hiccup.
Instead, fans, sponsors and television networks in the U.S. and Canada had to cover their gripe over and over in the last 113 days.
The NHL Players Association, led by Donald Fehr, who previously led the Major League Baseball (MLB) Players Association, didn’t want to reach a deal because he felt that the owners and the board of directors of the NHL would have budge and give in to their demands.
If the NHLPA had done their research on Mr. Fehr before they had hired him to be their representative, they would have seen that he was part of the reason why the MLB canceled the rest of the 1994 season and also was part of the steroid era in the 1990s.
Instead, they hired him and look where they are right now.
The NHLPA blamed the owners for trying to cut their salaries in order to help smaller market teams to sustain the NHL.
The owners are not without fault as well because they wanted to keep as much money as possible because of the revenue that the NHL makes from the television contracts and sponsorships.
In my opinion, I don’t feel sorry for either side because they make enough money (estimated $100,000 for the lower bench players to $20 million for the stars) playing the game they love.
You going to tell me that they are not satisified with their pay while the average “Joe” in this economy have to work at least two jobs to make ends meat and pay the bills and the most dedicated fan have to pay an estimated $400 dollars for season tickets and to pay at least $40 dollars for snacks and drinks while at the game?
That is ridiculous.
What this tells me is that these players want more money just to show off their “bling, bling” and to claim that they are the most paid athlete in the sport.
What they showed by having this lockout is that they don’t give a “flying leap” about the fans who live and die for their team.
They don’t understand that the fans needs this game to help them relax and be themselves after a hard days work or if they are unemployed.
The players and Mr. Bettman hopes that the fans will forgive them for the lockout and that they will come back in hoards.
I really hope that the majority of the fans including the die-hard fans will not return to watch a 48-game season to let these guys to show them that they will not put up with their shenanigans.
Maybe that will let them think twice and get their act together.