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Tuesday, February 01, 2005

NHL says it will notify when season over

Hockey Central was reporting yesterday that the NHL will notify the players and public when the time comes that a meaningfull season cannot be played. But what constitutes "meaningfull" in the eyes of the league braintrust? I'm sure they would love nothing more than to play a 5-10 game regular season and collectively lick their chops all they way through the playoffs.

Let's get real guys - it's way overdue. It's February 1st. Baseball gets things on the move in just a little over a month. Just call it a season already. I find it frustrating and laughable that some have convinced themselves that there's still some hope left. Yet for some reason, certain sports media outlets, and even Bill Daly himself will not let this die.
"I'm expecting that at some point we'll hear back from them with respect to some of the concepts that we discussed on Thursday night...They raised issues on Thursday which indicated that they continued to have problems with the approach that we were presenting," Daly said. "It certainly gave me no cause of optimism. And the fact that we've gone another four days without hearing from them also doesn't give me cause for optimism."
Oh brother. Talk about dense. On the one hand Daly says that the season isn't dead and progress was made during last week's discussions, yet at the same time he also says that there's little hope for optimism. My head is spinning.

Ted Saskin, in direct rebuttal to Daly's comments, says this:
"Bill knows that the concepts they discussed with us on Thursday would not form the basis for an agreement, so he should not be surprised that he hasn't heard from us," NHLPA senior director Ted Saskin said in a statement. "We were very clear on Thursday that we would not be negotiating over his proposed concepts."
Well no kidding. I thought that was clear last week. Or last month? Or how about from the start of this whole fiasco? So why doesn't Bill Daly and Co. get it?

Regardless, there's no way that the players will agree to come back, pick up two or three paychecks, and then play for free through the playoffs. In order for the players to come back in a shortened season, they will want to be compensated for the post-season run. Call me crazy, but I don't see the owners accepting that scenario.

And while I'm thinking about it, what about the Sidney Crosby factor? How can the NHL expect the winner of the Crosby sweeptstakes to be crowned via a truncated schedule? All credibility is effectively tossed out the window in a season that is shortened by as many games as this one would have to be. Tainted. Maybe I'm wrong, and I know I'm speculating here, but should that scenario take place, it would feel dirty to me.

So, there's two reasons not to have a season at this point in the year. Regain some credibility, then come back when the length of the season won't force an asterix to be placed next to the season stats in the record books.


  • At 10:34 PM, Blogger James Mirtle said…

    Good point on Crosby.

    The NHL will announce the cancellation of the season in about ten days from now. No season would have started prior to the Superbowl, so, as they say, there's still time. Players are not optimistic, however.


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