One week and counting …

- September 22nd, 2012

Tick … Tick … Tick.
Time is ticking away.
The lockout is now a week old. Neither side has held talks. The NHLPA has tried to initiate some discussions. The NHL isn’t interested.
Saturday would have been the first day of training camp.
Instead, the only skating at Scotiabank Place, will be the Peterborough Petes taking on the Ottawa 67′s at 7 p.m.
Who knew it would come to this?
I guess we all did. I never planned to be at the first on-ice session Saturday. To be honest, I’ve always had the first day of the BInghamton training camp circled on my schedule. That is Thursday. I knew it was more realistic.
The wait for the Senators to start looks endless at the moment.
Exhibition games have been cancelled. Employees have been laid off.
This just get uglier by the second doesn’t it?
I will try to blog here as often as I can. I’m not sure there is a lot to say.
We all wait. Time ticks on. Who knows? Maybe people will learn to live without hockey and there will be lots more empty seats when the game does return to the ice.
I’ve said it before and I will say it again, Gary Bettman hasn’t played the right card this time. It just doesn’t seem to make any sense.

Categories: Hockey

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20 comments

  1. Kevin F says:

    Looks like a absolute union bust attempt to me, Gary is trying to put the players in the rancher cattle relationship that Devellano talked about. He loves everything about the NFL infrastructure TV contract and non guaranteed contracts. The stars get their money up front and the grunts are tossed aside as easily as one of Bettmans linen napkins. Didn’t have much sympathy for the players at the outset but the longer the owners continue to tighten the screws and sledgehammer the negotiations the more I lean in their direction. There must be a fair deal here somewhere

  2. Bobby Goodman says:

    You are quite right Bruce, there is not a lot to talk about. It is a shame just the same. I don’t like Bettman but I strongly suspect he only makes decisions after getting the universal support from the ownership group. Don’t you think? The owners, including our very own Melnyk, have not impressed me with some of their activity and if you know a little history, it is a carry over from many years ago.

    I read he discovered a player on his team was earning 20k more than him; never wanting to rock the boat so to speak, he simply signed every contract offered to him by the team (he wasn;t the sharpest pencil in the drawer and didn’t possess any courage off the ice (wouldn’t join Scarface Lindsay in his fight for a union back when they needed one). Back in those days, a union was absolutely necessary to protect the players from the corrupt owners (and they are still corrupt and criminal). Eddie Shore was a lunatic and Killer may have started the entire process, but, things have gotten out of hand don’t you think? Are the players hard done by? Does it make sense they get 57% of the revenues? PSAC openly supports a treasonous political party; the Teachers are very well paid, get every conceivable benefit, lots of time off, have the richest pension fund on the planet and…the still want more. And, our Heroes who play for living and get paid millions want more than their employers.

    I have said it before Bruce, I don’t support the players at all. I am not a Bettman fan, nor do I like the owners (they often do things that truly make you wonder how they became billionaires) but, they are the ones who assume all the risk and offer the players the incredible opportunity to play a sport they love and get well paid for it. If the players are so hard done by, rather than steal a job away from some shmuck over seas, why don’t they start their own league…build the arenas, make the deals with the networks and deal with disgruntled employees?

    There is something intrinsically wrong to see some players standing behind the Farlley brothers in a very staged public show of support in their fight with people who pay them 5, 7 and 14 million dollars. Most of them are far to self absorbed, dumb or both to grasp the absurdity of it all.

    Oh…but they are heroes to some and they do so much for the community.

  3. Mike8888 says:

    Hi Bruce,

    I have to agree about the butts in the seats. I’m a die-hard hockey fan, and of course when the NHL does come back I will once again be watching the Sens. All those people that say they are done with the NHL will be back as well….its genetic.

    The difference is I think those people will just stay home and watch now. I know that if and when the lockout is over, I’ll be watching the games, but I’m not going to any games this season.

    Chris

  4. Bruce Garrioch says:

    Kevin. I do think he’s trying to break the union. He did it once before and it was messy.

  5. Bobby Goodman says:

    I was referring to Gordie Howe in my post but had another brain cramp; the point being, the relationship between the players and owners was certainly one sided back then and it took Ted Lindsay’s considerable effort and courage to change the landscape.

    Is there an issue today that is so compelling it forces an impasse and work stopppage? Are the players not extremely well paid? Is therea any fan that believes the players should get 57% of the revenues? It is odd to hear Toews crap on the very people who have made him filthy rich and he is still and very young man. Will they all kissa and make up when this is over? Where is Eugene Melnyk these days…barbados sipping a fancy drink with an umbrella stuck inside? How does he feel after dishing out some big money recently. Is it no Kosher for him to speak publicly about the issue? Does he have a take?

    It would be interesting to know how many players are really on board. We willl never really know but I would suspect the 650k range players aren’t too excited about sitting around. The noble muti-millionaires are eager to share with us that they are playing overseas for effectively nothing, after the insurance is paid (are we fans supposed to be impressed???).

    What ever happened to the notion of a partnership. I have to wonder if the players, like the rabid islamic radicals, only get passionate when they are told to. Part of me suggests that if the Farlley brothers agreed to a 50-50 deal the players would have accepted and all would be good in the world.

    As I have suggested, the Teachers in Ontario are greedy as hell and after getting well over 25% raise over the last few years, smaller classrooms, lots of time off….they want more. The Public Service are fat cats and they too are hansomely compensated. But, nothing compares to our KIngs, Gods and Heroes.

    Will the owners break the union…I suspect not. I would wager that hockey will be played sometime before Christmas. As a noted writer suggested in an article recently in the Sun…the monery lost in the work stoppage will never be recovered so as the song sasy: What are we fighting for”!!!!!

  6. Bobby Goodman says:

    The NFL teams, unvirsally, are crapping on the replacement referees…I say, suck it up and just play, its the same for both teams. My favourite team, Greenbay complained about a game winning play where the call didn’t go their way…perhaps they should have scored more than 12 points! The cheater, Belichuk actually grabbed a referee after a game…to me that is a very big no no. His team’s defence looked absolutely porous and again, it wasn’t the referees that have them below .500.

    It is interesting that Farell is now being quesioned by many writers; I like the guy and hope he stays in Toronto. I wonder where the team would be if they had been healthy all year!!! The players all like him and he unlike Cito Gaston, he does things to manufacture runs and doesn’t just sit on his duff and wait for a home run. Trading him back to Boston for a player is silly (unless of course that is where John really wants to be).

  7. Pav says:

    Hi Bruce,

    Its hard to think down the road if any of us will be a fan again (as much as we were) with the second lockout in 8 years.

    I feel for the guys at SBP who have been asked to stay home. The students who work the concession stand trying to pay for school or the guy who is counting on that pay chq to make rent. The inside sales reps who lose money each time a game is not played. These are millionaires going up against billionaires. How many of us can walk in to our bosses office and say ‘I was 45% of the company’s revenue or I walk’ – are you kidding? I will be told not to forget my lunch bag on the way out!

    I will not go to a game this season.

    Pav
    (6 year season ticket holder)

  8. Pav says:

    Hi Bruce,

    Its hard to think down the road if any of us will be a fan again (as much as we were) with the second lockout in 8 years.

    I feel for the guys at SBP who have been asked to stay home. The students who work the concession stand trying to pay for school. The inside sales reps who lose money each time a game is not played. These are millionaires going up against billionaires. How many of us can walk in to our bosses office and say ‘I was 45% of the company’s revenue or I walk’ – are you kidding? I will be told not to forget my lunch bag on the way out!

    I will not go to a game this season.

    Pav
    (5 year season ticket holder)

  9. PaV says:

    Sorry for the double post. It should be 5 years not 6.

    Cheers

  10. Bobby Goodman says:

    Right on Pav my man. The millionaires are offended by being reffered to as cattle in an analogy by an senile old fart, but I have other words that better describe millionaires who: are extremely well paid and want more – don’t give a damn about their loyal fan base – show no conconcern for individuals \whose lives and income are affectrd by work stoppage – and – taking jobs away from from guys who have made a career of playing hockey over seas. These wonderful members of the community, KIngs. Gods and Heroes are by and large, spoiled, feel entitled, are selfish and only concerned about themselves.

    Hockey players are like actors on a TV show or a movie; they provide entertaiment and that is it. Do we call Television or Movie Stars “heroes”….I don’t think so.

  11. Daniel Murphy says:

    Bobby, personally I am of the opinion that Farell has done a poor job. I recall one game, not too long ago where Rasmus was described as having great speed, yet he only had 3 stolen bases out of 4 attempts. Is that using your tools effectively? Why would your number 2 hitter with great speed only attempt 4 steals in 120+games. I personally don’t see what Farell has done all season that Cito or any other manager has done.

    Pav, I am glad to hear you are dropping your season tickets. I just wish every season ticket holder would but that is easy for me to say since I don’t have any cash invested.

    Not to be-labour the point but it seems all the wonderful charity work our hockey stars supposedly do has seemed to have stopped. Hmmmm!!!!

  12. Pav says:

    Bobby I am with you. I just don’t understand how ‘employees’ can try to boss around their boss. Makes no sense.

  13. Visitor - Pierre D. says:

    I guess the mods do not like my comments but I will try again.

    Bruce, it could well be that Gary is trying to break the union, more power to him. I heard Dan Cleary say he is ready to sit out a year, good player but is he ready to sit out two, three perhaps four years? This might drag on a long time and I fear my predictions of a resolution by the Winter Classic are optimistic at best.

    I have just come back from an impromptu trip to the Gaspé/Percé Rock area. Hockey players (and everyone for that matter, but the ego-driven especially) should all take a trip to this area, breathe in the fresh sea air and see what people uncluttered by ego, pride and living off the land and hard work are capable of. I swear I feel 15 years younger at that, walked a mile and a half to get groceries and felt fine doing so! No TV, internet our only vice and it’s peaceful and lovely. Not sure I could live there but a few weeks a year sure does wonders for the soul/mind.

    As for the strike, I hadn’t gone to a lot of games the past few years and that probably isn’t going to change unless the ragamuffins assembled by our fearless leader make a push for the top of the Eastern Conference. Since that’s unlikely short of another Norris Plus season from the Frail Swede and Jason Spezza, I’ll just hope for a half-decent draft pick and no regression in Year Two under coach MacLean.

    All the best Bruce, Don, Pav, Kevin, Mike, Bobby and the best of the unruly bunch here.

  14. OD99 says:

    I think hockey players being considered heroes is a bit of an overstatement (although Alfie is God) and if they are thought of that way it is generally reserved for children and I see no harm in that.

    That said you reference Lindsay and the work he had to do and of course the players rights are dramatically different but the premise is essentially the same. Regardless of the numbers these players are doing this to protect themselves but also to protect the future players in the NHL maximize their earning potential.

    It is easy to get caught up in the billionaires / millionaires slant but it is a business and both sides want to protect their revenue so for that I can’t fault them but the bigger picture to me is the damage that can’t be undone to some markets in the US. The NHL had everything fall into place for them over the last few years – from the right markets winning the Cup to the NBA strike providing them more exposure than they could have hoped for.

    I haven’t revoked my flex 40 just yet but I am getting close…then I can feel good to purchase single game tickets for the games I really want to go to and maybe get some nice 100 level tix and a nice meal…I may not go back to half-season tix for a while…

    Lastly, just thinking of it Melnyk can’t speak out as Bettman has the owners in the cone of silence.

  15. Bobby Goodman says:

    I was bored to tears and tuned into 1200 for a break in the monotony on a road trip this am and was again exposed the one and only Jason York. He is incapable of collecting his thoughts a presenting an organized case for any issue at all. Today he supported the notion that Paul Henderson be named to the Hockey Hall of Fame. I think it is ridiculous. Henderson scored 236 goals and had 241 assists in 707 games. 477 points in the NHL should not qualify anyone for the Hall. But, Yorkie said “he did extraordinary things at a key time” and for that he should get a pass. Can we get realistic here…it took Esposito to pick everyone up by their collective jock straps to win by the skin of their teeth. All of them showed up fat and out of shape. The Series was what 3 weeks long; so for a 3 week period where Henderson scored 7 goals he should enter the Hallowed Hall of Hockey??!! Get real Yorks or Yorkie…whatever. When he was challenged with the notion others did extraordinary things in NHL playoffs he offered nothing. He actually thinks that Henderson deserves to be in the Hall over Bernie Federko. He suggested that Federko never made St Louis better when in counted. Yorks, you are an idiot. The teams that Federko played for were God awful. Wayne Babych was probably the best player he got to play with and in spite of such lousy hockey clubs he still managed to score 369 goals, have 761 assists for 1130 in 1000 games!

    Honest to God, does Yorks, Yorkie, the Yorkmeister, the York-a-rama possess an active brain cells in that head of his? He too is another embarrassment.

    But, he is not alone with his argument. I have heard from some on this blog talk about players who did bring the cup to their team (the key word is team and one player will never do it). Howerchuk was an ubelievable hockey player on a bad team. Had it not been for Chicago, one of the best defencemen that ever lived wouldn’t have a ring and he certainly didn’t help the Hawks win the Cup that year.

    Yorks, Yokal, Yorkie…you played in the NHl (I know because ever article you author tells me so) you SHOULD be better…don’t you think so?

  16. Bruce Garrioch says:

    It may have gone to spam.

  17. Visitor - Pierre D. says:

    Bobby!

    I also heard York and was baffled. As I do every time I hear him say something absurd, I sent him a reply (the same as yours, Federk was on awful teams outside of 85-86) and lo and behold, that didn’t help York’s case so he didn’t read the email. This is the same guy that compared Henderson to Larionov and Fetisov, two men that carried the Soveity team for a decade plus and then won’t say a peep about Sergei Makrov, who dominated the international hockey scene for close to 20 years and also won the Calder in a terrible NHL, not being in the Hall of Fame.

    I yearn that TSN take over Team 1200 someday. They aren’t always great with the insight but at least Bob MacKenzie and co. have some credbility. York knows his toast is buttered by the Senators so will never ask hard questions and any complaints about the shows to John Rodenberg (JR) their program manager gets met with defensive comments and pooh-poohing of opinion. It’s no wonder I split my radio time between TSN, CKAC since at least Ron Fournie is entertaining and has realistic memories of the NHL when he reffed and whatever else passes for sports reporting.

  18. Visitor - Pierre D. says:

    OD99, explain to me while Alfie is “God”. If he is a God wouldn’t he have seen the hit coming from Mark Bell? Wouldn’t God have elevated his team to the Cup finals less than ten years after he joined the NHL? Why can’t God bring his team past the first round of the playoffs? Why does he need over 7 million a year ro live?

    Please. Alfredsson is an excellet two-way player and in this town that hasn’t seen a winner since the 70s with the Rough Riders or in over a decade with the 67s he passes for a hero, but forgive me if I don’t get on my knees in front of him, just not enough sustained playoff success to earn that label from these quarters.

  19. Bobby Goodman says:

    Pierre, I’m all for people having an opinion and love to here them all; but like Yokal, many share only what they think is prudent.

    I remember the 72 Series extremely well and it was an eye opener for me. I never appeciated how out of shape the boys were back in that era. There series generated a lot of emotion because we all loathed the Ruskies. But lets look at the hockey club that represented Canada. It had some greats but it also had some who I would not characterize as stars and some were on their last legs. JP Parise was on the hockey cluib for God sakes!. Ron Ellis too. The drunken Wayne Cashman. Bill Goldsworthy, Red Berenson and the defence was slow with the likes of Seiling, Don Awrey and Brian Glennie! And of course there was Paul Henderson.

    To me Pierre and suspect you feel the same way, the Hall should be a reward for a body of work, not a snap shot in time. But Yokal is not alone…on the local news the other night; Liam McGuire went on a rant (he has perfected it over the years), he too thinks the rules need to change to allow Henderson. I din’t know there were any rules…it is afterall a popularity contest (just like Baseball). How long did it take to celebrate Dino and his 600 goals and well over a 1000 points. Allowing Henderson (and there many otheres IMO) only servesto tarnish the rpeutation of the those who legitimately entered the Hall and the Hall itself.

  20. OD99 says:

    I thought we all knew Alfie was God because that is what Bobby calls him? By the way, who said Alfie needed 7 million a year to live? Don’t think he ever averaged 7 million over an entire contract but even if he did, he was signing a contract that was offered to him, not because he needed it.

    Not sure who you mean when you say frail Swede though? You mention Norris but you can’t mean Karlsson since he hasn’t really missed any time due to injury or physical play.

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