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Friday, January 21, 2005

Season done....

Despite the best efforts of Trevor Linden, the season is toast. Most of us have known this since December when the NHLPA and the NHL outright rejected each other's proposals. And again today, more banter is being offered as proof.

Jimmy Devellano, the Red Wings senior vice-president, has this to say:
"The season's done," he told the Detroit Free Press. "There's no chance that the right deal can remotely be done in the next little while. There's too much work to be done. There's too many i's to dot and t's to cross. You are not going to get this collective bargaining agreement done in two days, three days, one week or two weeks. It's over."
No kidding. For those very reasons, almost everyone, with the exception of Gary Bettman and his cronies have accepted this as the truth. Well, Bettman has yet to admit it publically, anyways.

Regardless of the meetings of thie past week, even if the philisophical differences could be compromised and the wide valleys of opinion could be bridged, there's simply no time left. So really, at this point, it matters not that the philiosophical demons and differences of opinion are in no danger of becoming miraculously excorsized.

With that in mind, Trevor Linden had more to say today.
"Their pursuit of a team-by-team hard cap, NFL-style model, is crystal-clear," Linden said.

Linden believes the players want to find a solution and are willing to examine new ways of getting there. But to his mind the league road map is fixed, always leading to a salary cap.

"If we can't sit in a room and have a mutual discussion and work around each other's problems to get to an agreement, then what are we looking at?" he asked. "I think players really get their back up when they understand what's going on here."
Again, nothing new here fellas. The league mandate has been crystal clear since September, even earlier to some, so why would it change now? The players can get their back up all they want because in the end, it won't mean squat.

The owners, at least the majority of them, are intent on one thing - taking back control of the league. In their eyes, this is their baby, and the extremely prosperous run the players have had has to be reigned in, much like an out of control thoroughbread. So, when the league proposes a new deal, which many sources have suggested will happen early next week, expect the same unerlying concepts of cost certainty to dominate.

Neither side is willing to move on the key issue of this dispute. Call it whatever you want, cost certainty, linkage, salary cap - the bottom line is that the owners want this and the players are outraged by it. So where do they go from here? Well, it looks like this runaway train is headed straight into a court-room. How else can a resolution come from the mess that has each side dug in like an Alabama tick? There will be no compromise at the present time, so why would the respective stances suddenly change within the next 6 months, one year, two years, or ever?

Maybe in the future, if the process does follow the Yellow Brick Road to an impasse, and hence, a court-room, maybe the proceedings will be featured on a pay-per-view basis. Basketball, here I come.


  • At 9:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Watching Linden today was tragi-comic. "Their goal is now crystal clear." Gee, Trev, what was your first clue? How about when Bill Daly spelled it out in the initial negotiations almost FIVE FREAKIN' MONTHS AGO. Goodenow, and hence Linden and the 'PA, thought that when push came to shove, the League would cave just like they did ten years ago. Now that it is clear they have gambled and lost, the 'PA membership is lashing out with anger. I guess I would be mad also if my union kept telling me something that I just found out was a lie.

    Then there was Trent Klatt beaking off today. Yo, Trent, no one really cares if you ever play again anyway, so just help yourself to a nice, steaming cup of shut the @#$# up. Klatt can be replaced by Tristan Grant of the Giants next year, and no one would notice the difference.

    The 'PA has the weekend to decide what to do. They can either negotiate a cap, or face a nuclear winter that few of their members will survive. Rationality would suggest that they seek out a face-saving settlement with the league, but given the militant nature of this bunch they might just pull a Thelma and Louise and drive it off the cliff. One way or another, this installment of the soap opera will at least be over in a week or so.


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