June 15th and what it means to hockey

According to an article on TSN .. http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/news_story.asp?ID=125609&hubName=nhl, the league may issue a drop dead date of June 15th for the 2006 season. The reason being is that this is the sponsors have given the league June 15th as the date they will pull their money from the NHL. With reduced financial incentive the league may believe it is in their best interests to out wait the players.

As bad a negotiating method “outwaiting” the players may seem, is it any different than what the players were banking on this last year+. Clear evidence is that the players waited until this month to talk about finances with the owners. Why is this important? Because the NHLPA had a financial report given to them by the owners, with the opportunity to dissect it and ask questions about it as they see fit, and THE PLAYERS IGNORED IT. Now all of a sudden they’ve dusted off the Levitt report and are looking at the numbers in it FOR THE FIRST TIME. Basically, until this point the players have threatened to they turn blue if the parents don’t give them what they want. The players turned blue and realized the parents weren’t going to give in and are finally asking their parents why they can’t get what they want.

I really can’t understand the NHLPA and Bob Goodenow supporters as the evidence mounts that the NHLPA, not the NHL are the ones who have refused to negotiate, electing to rely on PR moves to get what they want instead of any meaningful dialogues. I do not blame Bettmen for this lockout, he is doing what the owners want him to do, it’s Goodenow and the star players who need $9 mill to feed their dogs even if it bankrupts the league who are the problem. Wouldn’t it be nice if the players position had a sound financial framework behind it? I guess that’s not their problem.

On the plus side, the only issue I agree with the NHLPA on, and one i’m thinking they could get done if they dealt with reality instead of fantasy land, is greater revenue sharing among the teams, which to me is as key as getting a cap.