So, there’s some kabuki movement in the NHL labor dispute. How silly is this.
Since the beginning, I’ve been for the owners. Not because I love the owners, but because I recognized that the current CBA was causing the players to receive abusively high salaries (like Bobby Holik) and causing too much movement and had absolutely destroyed the trade process from a player focussed process to a money process.
The counter-arguments from pro-labor commentators, like Larry Brooks yesterday, is that the teams that are suffering are the expansion teams Bettman added. What does that have to do with anything? The union isn’t going to agree to a contraction, is it? That would cause the loss of NHL jobs for potentially hundreds of their members, if the reduction went back to pre-Bettman levels.
Plus, the problem isn’t the bottom teams as much as it is the top ones, that feel they have to outbid each other to stay competitive (not that I’m against contraction).
The solution is, as it ever was, simple. The owners open their books. If they’re even close to being honest about their problems, then the players should agree to a cap based on a percentage.
You see, if the players really weren’t worried about contraction, they could say, fuck it let these teams go bankrupt, then they would be the ones making an impasse.
Also, don’t shed a tear for the players. They could easily start their own cooperative league, buy out the few players still under contract, and split their own profits. Why they don’t, I haven’t a clue. If they’re stupid enough to continue to play for the owners, then they have to make sure the owners stay in business.
[UPDATE: Larry Brooks, the only pro-union author to set foot in the New York Post, (and only, I think, because taking a pro-union position somehow defends the Rangers) suggests today that the league fire Bettman. Yes! Fire him. Now, he’s gone. Tell me again how that fixes the fiscal situation or the talent pool dilution? It may keep it from getting worse, but it doesn’t fix it.
Put teams back in Winnipeg and Quebec City, put one in Hamilton and forget Nashville, Atlanta, and Carolina. Duh.
Oh, and the strong US dollar was a problem that cause a lot of these teams to move. The USD is down FORTY CENTS since 2003.