NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has confirmed today what many of us have either been dreading or expecting. The Board of Governors will be locking out the players indefinitely until a new collective bargaining agreement is reached.
“We gave the owners a complete and thorough update of everything that’s transpired to date, we have reviewed all proposals, and counter proposals, and discussions.” Said Bettman “The board had very little discussion, asked a couple of questions and there way a complete show of support; both for what we’ve been doing in bargaining, how the negotiations have been conducted, the positions we have taken and the fact that as we’ve been saying to the union as far back as November… we are not prepared to open a new season until we have a new collective bargaining agreement”
This isn’t necessarily breaking news to those following the situation closely but it is set in stone now. There is still obviously time to get a deal done but it is not promising in any way, shape or form. While it was reported over the last few days that progress had been made in the negotiations, you would be better off filing these reports under “too little, too late” as opposed to progress.
It is really difficult to find the source of the disagreements between the two sides but it appears to be the revenue sharing between the two. The owners have made offers which are significantly in their favor with one such offer removing next to %10 from the players previous agreement. When the sides are this far apart on a deal it is impossible to expect anything to gain any traction.
I have admittedly been positive throughout the entire negotiation process with thoughts such as “no way they would let this happen again” and “it would be like starting over again” often drifting into my consciousness. Perhaps I was being naive, call it denial if you have to; the point here is that my positive thoughts regarding the process are all but gone. I still have hope, probably a fool’s hope that a deal can get done but at this point I don’t see it happening.
Among the negative aspects of the whole process is something for Bruins fans to stew over. The B’s owner Jeremy Jacobs was reportedly a big driving force behind the NHL’s previous lockout and it appears as if history is repeating itself. Darren Dreger of TSN tweeted today that Jeremy Jacobs held a vote today which was to lockout the players should no deal be found. The board voted a unanimous decision to lockout its players.
“ Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs called for an official, on the record vote to support lockout. Vote was unanymous. Solidarity recorded.”
Before our readers begin to tear apart Jacobs for this, it should be noted that he is Chairman of the Board of Governers and such a vote isn’t so much what he wants, but his responsibility as chairman. I doubt such news will hold much water with the Bruins fans around the globe, nor will it make much a difference in the potential backlash coming his way. I just wanted you to know that he isn’t solely responsible and neither is Bettman. The responsibility falls on the collective Board of Governors and their failure to compromise throughout the negotiations when the NHLPA has been as flexible as it has.
The deadline is Saturday, this Saturday, the 15th to get a deal done. I don’t want to be someone who dashes what remaining hope you may have regarding this situation, but at the same time, I don’t want to see the millions of fans around the globe be crushed when their favorite sport locks out its third season in fifteen years. Regardless of your feelings, it appears that this is happening and we will once again be without our beloved NHL.
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