Wednesday, February 02, 2005

THUMBS DOWN: NOW WHAT?

The NHL presented its proposal, with its salary-cap-by-another-name.

The union turned it down.

That was quick.
The two sides met- Bill Daly and Ted Saskin and a couple of other people, no Bettman or Goodenow- met today and apparently they are still meeting as we write this. But it seems like the owners floated this proposal, so we are told, in order to test the will of the players. The owners seem to want to float this proposal and press the union to put it to a vote of the players.

The problem is the last of these players are hopping on Star Alliance flights to Europe, and the ones who want to stay in North America are joining the United Hockey League. (?) (!) (?) And I don't see any players interested in bringing in a salary cap, or feeling any pressure to come back to the NHL. Really, I don't see either side seriously compromising or seriously negotiating here. This is a complete standoff. All we're getting are platitutes and press releases. This is not good.

The good news is that baseball season is only a few weeks away. Woo hoo! The Toronto Blue Jays are going to up their payroll and add new grass and a new jumbotron to the newly-renamed Rogers Centre. Hopefully this will lead to more wins and some playoff games- and playoffs are something we're not likely to see from the NHL anytime soon, it seems.

I'll bet you Ted Rogers and Paul Godfrey are taking advantage of this lockout situation to try and lure in some sports-starved fans. I'm sure they'll have lots of takers for those $2 tickets to Blue Jays games with all the money Leaf fans have saved from not going to games.

I just want the NHL to put us out of misery right now. Just tell us there isn't going to be a season, that the situation is hopeless. Why won't Gary Bettman show some guts and hold that press conference like Bud Selig did? Selig lives in infamy but at least we were put out of our agony.

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