It’s time for hockey fans to vent

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The NHL announced on Thursday that the first two weeks of the regular season have been officially cancelled as a result of the lockout, meaning the first 82 games through Oct. 24 have been wiped out.

This marks the NHL’s fourth work stoppage in the last two decades and the cancellation of the first two weeks of the season brings the total number of NHL games lost to lockouts to 1,780 … and counting. That’s more than Major League Baseball, the NBA and the NFL combined.

Commissioner Gary Bettman has already stated that the NHL recovered well from the last lockout that wiped out the entire 2004-05 season “because we have the world’s greatest fans.”

But those fans are angry now and time will tell how they respond when the lockout eventually ends.

You can join the discussion below and express your feelings about the latest lockout. And you’ll notice at the top of the site that we’ve taken the “Inside” out of Hockey Inside/Out.

Meanwhile, the labour talks did resume quietly on Friday with an unnanounced meeting at the NHLPA headquarters in Toronto with Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly sitting down with Donald Fehr and special counsel Steve Fehr. The two sides were expected to be in touch by phone over the weekend and set up another negotiating session for next week. Read more about that by clicking here.

(Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

238 Comments

  1. LethaGNTUzum says:

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  2. HankHardball says:

    What angers me the most is the damage both sides are doing to the NHL.

    This is not just their league. It also belongs to the people who went before them, and the people who will come after them.

    But more than anything, it belongs to the fans who pay for it.

    They need to get their butts in gear and settle this. The NHL cannot afford the damage they’re doing to it.

  3. Dictionary.com defines ‘masochist’ as ” a person who is gratified by pain, etc., that is self-imposed or imposed by others.”
    The only thing that’s missing is a picture of a typical NHL fan.

    Ironically, we – the NHL fans – being the consumer of the product called ‘NHL hockey’, hold the gold.

    Unfortunately, we’ll also be more than happy to dole it out after we’ve been left twisting in the wind for who-knows-how-long this time around.

    If, in some imaginary time in the future, we decided to stop caring about the owners, the players, the merch, the blogs, the tweets and ultimately, the games, this lockout silliness would never happen again.

    I give Gary B. credit for showing the fortitude not to bust out laughing after his “we have the greatest fans in the world” comment, knowing that he could’ve used way more colourful and accurate adjectives.

    In the end, we – the fans – really have no one to be angry at but ourselves…

  4. smiler2729 says:

    I’ve vented enough… I just don’t really care that much anymore.

    _______________________________________
    Jack Edwards is a clam.
    Gary Bettman is a bobblehead.

  5. Habsfan in New Glasgow says:

    Vent! Well let me vent! I don’t care who is winning the war of words; it is all verbosity with the result kicking the fans in the #%&*. Betteman has repeatedly stated that the NHL Fans are the greatest sports fans in the world. I just want to thank him for the anxiety he has created and the disrespect he has shown towards us. Meanwhile, the players enjoy a lifestyle that many of us will never see. With so many ills in the world, they are in a privileged position. Yes, they work hard for their money but so do a lot of other people (who by the way are fans). I am sick of the rhetoric; I am sick of the greed; and I am sick of infighting. I love hockey and that is what hurts the most. My love for the game depends on these selfish millionaires who cannot move their egos out of the way for fans and for those other workers who depend on the NHL game to make a living. Well, the situation is really giving me recourse to follow some other sports. When this does come to a conclusion, both sides will come back with words and actions to placate the fans. Everyone will be so happy to have hockey return. We the fans must send messages! I suggest the following:
    1) No more purchasing of NHL clothing or artifacts until September 2013.
    2) Fans should boycott all products sold by the owners until September 2013 (Molson’s Beer).
    3) That we refuse to watch or attend any hockey games for a month after the agreement has reached.

    The truth is if we don’t do something like this, we will be continued to be taken for granted regularly.

    Wouldn’t it have been nice if both sides in this dispute had come to the press conference together and stated that for the fans we will continue to talk and still play the game.

    Sigh…but that is so altruistic and fan-oriented. I know many will not or cannot do as I suggest the fans to do, but you can expect the same disrespect and interruptions of the game to continue every few years.

    Sigh…..I miss the game.

    Freck

  6. Yeats says:

    Hey, there are still boatloads of great hockey out there to enjoy! I am looking forward to watching the Fighting Sioux of North Dakota tomorrow night. Or, as my wife would say, get your fat ass out of the chair and play some pickup!

    • gmur says:

      I agree. Just got back from Remparts against Victoriaville. Grigorenko scored in OT on a slick pass\shot… Good game overall and fast hockey. Was sitting next to the ice and they fly. To be honest, the last lockout almost ended my interest in NHL hockey and this one may just do it. Season tickets to the Remparts may be my next move.

      Bettman… if he were as good as he thinks he is, he would have settled all this when he had the players where he wanted them last lockout. Because he screwed up and the owners don’t listen to a short, ranting bobblehead with bad hair, we’re back in this impasse. Go fleece someone else… and take your bald, self-righteous right-hand man with you when you leave the NHL with your little-man steps clicking down some marble hallway into your future.

  7. Phil C says:

    The Forbes numbers are often used to gain sympathy for the owners because they show that 18 teams lost money. Then I noticed that Edmonton was the 5th most profitable team and Colorado was among the “have” teams. Edmonton and Colorado? WTF?

    What the Forbes numbers leave out is the spending. Here is the spending on salaries from capgeek which shows that Edmonton and Colorado spent near the cap floor instead of the ceiling. If every team would have set a budget like a normal business and spent like Edmonton, only 5 teams would have lost money, teams like Phoenix and the Islanders who need help beyond the CBA. The reality is 25 teams could be in the black if they wanted to be, which is a less gloomy picture.

    Why are the Forbes numbers showing 18 teams losing money? My guesses are:
    a. The losses are exaggerated compared to the real numbers;
    b. The owners can afford losses on their hockey business because their other hockey-related businesses are profitable;
    c. They are so rich that they can afford to operate at a loss because they treat their teams like a luxury item, like their other toys, and the team valuation keeps increasing.

    The biggest problem with the current CBA is that the cap floor is not linked to a percentage. This means that the floor will always climb faster than total revenues, which is a systemic flaw that they must fix. It would be irresponsible of the players not to recognize this flaw. They may have to eat a small pay cut to restore the cap floor to the proper level. It is then up to the owners to stay near it if they can’t afford more (or quit whining if they spend beyond their revenues). Unless they get serious about revenue sharing, teams like Nashville and Tampa will never be able to spend like Toronto and New York.

    For the players, they have to stop obsessing about having to go below 57% and focus on the big picture. The salary cap has increased from $39M to $70M under this CBA, so it is painfully obvious that a financially healthy league benefits the players in the long run because it helps the entire business grow faster. They may have to take a smaller piece of the pie, but if that pie gets bigger and bigger, they will ultimately be ahead in the end. What’s more important, getting 57% or having a bigger salary? Enough of this crap about not backing down and who flinches first, etc. Take a gradual rollback to a reasonable level but negotiate hard for better playing conditions (ie min rest periods, better schedules, better rules on head shots, etc). This should be more important to them anyway or they won’t live long enough to spend their money.

    • commandant says:

      Forbes is also notoriously inaccurate.

      These are business writers who spend 1 week analyzing the NHL, with estimates only as these are not publically traded corporations who are forced to publish financial statements.

      Numbers shown in court documents of the Phoenix Coyotes and Dallas Stars bankruptcy cases show wildly inaccurate numbers.

      Purchase prices of teams like the Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, Los Angeles Dodgers, Manchester United, and other sports franchises show that when prospective owners get a look at the actual books, Forbes’ estimated values are wildly inaccurate.

      You just need to take the numbers with a giant grain of salt, but people use them as if they are gospel.

      Go Habs Go!
      Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
      http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • HabFab says:

      - But the NHL has stated the combined losses from the individual teams exceeded $120 ML each of the last two seasons. This would make the overall assessment from Forbes pretty much bang on.
      – If all the teams operated at the cap floor then the overall 57% share to the players would not be reached. The CBA creates a “market place” that teams must operate in.
      – The CBA floor does need adjusting and in a sense it is linked to a percentage as the Cap Salary is and the floor is a dollar amount less. This system does need some fine tuning.

      • commandant says:

        “The NHL has stated”
        Yeah… you trust those?
        After all you know with the Levitt report and last lockout?

        Agree that the Floor needs fine tuning as a percentage.

        Go Habs Go!
        Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
        http://lastwordonsports.com/

        • HabFab says:

          As much as what the NHLPA says. Which is that I don’t trust either!
          On the other hand all indications are that a large number of teams are money losers. How much and who????? Only the Shadow knows!!

    • JoaquindaPark says:

      It also needs to be pointed out that if the other Teams were to spend at the floor, guess hat would happen? A24% rollback, just like the NHL proposal.
      The owners spend because for most Teams the best marketing is winning. Not all teams have the luxury of markets like Edmonton who will endure Teams stockpiling of talent at the expense of year to year competitiveness. Nor is there enough talent.
      The players sign the contracts just as much as the owners. And now is reality check time…for everybody.
      One guy yesterday suggested we just drop the number of teams by letting the weak franchises go. Guess what? That is a 24% rollback too. Everyone knows the Teams lose money. The players unfortunately want their cake and eat it too.

      • Phil C says:

        Agreed, it would have the same effect as a rollback, this was part of my point that the system is not that broken, the owners just can’t control themselves. The current system also allows the rich teams to spend to the cap ceiling because they can easily afford it. The current proposal from the owners essentially has every team spend to the floor even though many teams like Montreal, Toronto, Detroit, and New York can afford to spend more a lot more, and still make a fortune. In this sense, the current CBA is more fair to the players.


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