Commentary, opinion and news on the world of hockey.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

The Weekend Red Line Round-up


The only news from the sad world of the NHL is that there is no news. It would seem that Gary Bettman and his cronies have hurt the NHLPA's feelings and hence, the players held a conference-call to plead their case and chastise the mean and nasty owners to anyone who would listen. Apparently each side has now locked themselves in their respective bedrooms and are proceeding to pout (NHLPA) or cachinnate wickedly amongst themselves (NHL).

Columnists, Commentary & Opinion

With the NHL labor strife just getting into full swing, everyone is digging for a unique angle or juicy fodder to bide the time. Calgary Sun hockey writer Randy Sportak gives a decent read about the contracts that ruined hockey. It's hard to disagree with what he says about the insanity of some of the NHL owners.

Love him or hate him, Al Strachan certainly conjurs up emotions when he expresses his views. Thie week, the columnist has put on his economics hat as he rambles on about the ineptness of Gary Bettman and his goal to form a partnership between the NHL and the NHLPA.

Interesting read for sure, but if Strachan really doesn't believe that the NHL would suffer similarly if the owners had accepted this deal, then someone has to slap him. His obvious disdain for NHL frontman Gary Bettman rears its ugly head yet again in his latest rant. One only has to look at the titles of his latest 4 columns to figure out which side of the fence he chooses to patrol:

Dec. 15: Owners' decision is puzzling
Dec. 14: NHL making huge mistake
Dec. 11: Give us a break Bettman!
Dec. 10: Players remove all the excuses

Furthermore, Strachan has said:
It's not the players' job to do that. Controlling the owners' spending is the owners' job.

It stands to reason that if all salaries are cut by 24%, which is the union's proposal, then the owners will find themselves at the very starting point they themselves have said is the ideal level if their salary cap concept were to be implemented.

Now all they have to do is stop spending stupidly.

It can't be that hard, can it?
I partly agree with you Al, but a little dose of reality is warranted on your part. Do you really belive that the New York Rangers or Philadelphia Flyers (insert your high-spending, huge market team here...) are going to cease to bully around the small market teams when it comes to adding elite player personnel under the NHLPA's proposed system? Teams like these are licking their chops at the latest proposal because it gives them a 24% cut in spending - an amount with which they would be able to go on a shopping spree. Does it really stand to reason that these teams are going to practice fiscal restraint if they want a player(s) badly enough? There's no way and it's been proven time and time again - the owners need an idiot proof system.

All this latest deal does is reset the scale - if this deal was accepted by the NHL, the clock would already be ticking on the next work stoppage.


Many might be sick of Blazer news, regardless, I have to mention the fact that they prevailed in the back half of the two game stint with rival Prince George. The win puts Kamloops only 4 points back of the Cougars, further taunting me with hopes of a playoff spot.

Playing in only his 14th game of the year, Blazer center Reid Jorgensen scored his 8th goal of the season - he had a total of 7 goals last year.

In the surprise of the night, The Tri-City Americans handed the Vancouver Giants a 6-0 shellacking. Adam Jennings got the start in the absence of Marek Schwarz, who is off to play for his native Czech team in the World Junior Tournament that begins on Christmas day.

The Medicine Hat Tigers defeated the WHL's top team, the Kelowna Rockets, 4-2 on Saturday. For the Tigers, the win will hopefully put them back on track as they had been steadily falling from what was once a penthouse view. Once ranked 2nd, behind only the London Knights, in the CHL rankings, the Tigers have promtply fallne back into second place in their division and now sit 5 points back of leading Lethbridge.


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