Sign of the times

- September 13th, 2012

Now more than ever, players and owners should be sucking up to the fans.
Doesn’t matter which side is right. Doesn’t matter if more people are siding with the players, or more are siding with the owners, in this ridiculous tug of war for their dollar.
With the stubbornness of both in CBA negotiations creating the very real threat that some games will be lost or the entire season scrapped, suffering most are the fans, team employes, arena workers and business owners.
Lest we forget that ultimately, when the inevitable deal gets done, when play resumes and the team employes, arena workers and business owners fret over lost income but get the chance to make some of it back, the game will be back where it belongs.
In the hands of the fans.
No doubt, some will say to hell with it. They’ll have found other interests. The nonsense that is currently taking place will turn them off hockey for good. And who will blame them?
That is why, now more than ever, players and owners should be sucking up to the fans.
And that is why the actions of Senators star goalie Craig Anderson Thursday are both confusing and inexcusable.
As he left his vehicle and was about to walk through the doors of the Bell Sensplex for a morning skate with fellow pros, Anderson was asked by a respectable looking man for his autograph. Anderson, who was carrying his equipment and sticks, turned down the request.
Why did he say no?
“He said his hands were full,” explained the seeker. “He told me to catch him on the way out.”
When his hands were less full? Was he going to be leaving behind gear and sticks? Of course not.
Essentially, Anderson told the guy to wait for an hour and a half for a five second exchange. He was just being plain rude.
He wasn’t being asked to bend over backwards for the guy. Just forwards, and only enough to put down his stick and sign the damn card. You know he would have dropped everything to sign a new contract for more money, right?
Has he forgotten that fans like this guy pay his freight?
I thought back to all the times I heard Anderson say how much he appreciated the support of fans in Ottawa, how important it was to him. That sure is a funny way of showing it.
Now, maybe he was having a bad morning, but is that a good excuse? Not at all. While I have never before seen Anderson turn down an autograph request, I get that players find this to be a cumbersome duty. Every where they go, especially in Canada, they are asked for their John Hancocks. Anderson, like other players who have spent nine years in the NHL, has signed about a million of them. It’s a bit of a bother, but really, how difficult is it to take five seconds, say hello, smile and scribble something that looks like your name?
Normally, I might not even mention the incident. But on this day, at this period of time for the NHL, it was disgusting to see him begrudge a fan even a fleeting moment.
Fans are already being asked to wait for who knows how long until the rich decide how to split up their money. It’s a sin one of them was told to wait 90 minutes for an autograph. Especially now.

Categories: Hockey

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8 comments

  1. Mike8888 says:

    It’s very obvious now to everyone except the Fehr brothers and the players that the NHLPA will have to capitulate or the lockout will go on indefinitely. Do the players not realize that after the last lockout, they were pretty much %$% slapped by the owners. This after they kept on stating that there would be no salary cap and after it was over, there was not only a salary cap but a 24% salary cut across the board.

    The NHLPA is up against a bunch of billionaires who seem ready to cancel another season. They will not give in. With a minimum salary of $600,000 and a limited time to earn their money, the players are crazy to miss an extended period of time. They will never get that money back. Can you imagine the employees of any company demanding a certain share of that business’ revenue? If I was a player, I would be telling Fehr to agree to a contract quickly, with maybe a slight increase in the minimum salary. The NHLPA will never win a fight against a bunch of billionaires who didn’t make there money with out a high degree of resolve.

  2. Daniel Murphy says:

    Mike8888, you are spot on. Arrogant billionaires are not going to give into a pile of high school drop outs and their fairly selfish demands. Believe me, you do not become a billionaire by losing business battles. The players are being mis-led and to be quite honest, I don’t think they fully understand the consequences of losing one or possibly two years salary. NHL teams are hobbies for the owners. None of them own a team for the purpose of making big bucks. It is all a game.

    By the way Don, paying fans will flood the arenas when play resumes. Very few will find better things to do unless they enjoy snow shoe trekking in minus 20 degree weather.

    Imagine, not one player in the NHL would be able to find a job that paid over 75,000 dollars per year yet they seem silly enough to literallly throw away 2.4 million because they think they should earn 2.6 million.

    I guess NBA basketball is what I will be watching this year.

  3. Pav says:

    Mike8888 you hit it right on the head. These guys are billionares.

    The players are screwed.

  4. Marcus73 says:

    Don,

    can you ask the frustrated Chris Phillips, how much of his restaurant revenue he will be sharing with his staff? I would imagine that like many NHLers that have businesses, he has figured out the ideal revenue sharing formula with employees?

  5. Mike8888 says:

    I agree Daniel. These player get paid very well, travel first class, stay in 5 star hotels, get nice per diems, and yet they are willing to sit out for a long time so as not to take a slight pay cut . The players are living in a dream world. And here I am paying to play.

  6. Mike8888 says:

    Good point Marcus. I’m sure the Big Rig would be happy to share the profits with all of his employees.

  7. ChokerHater says:

    the fact of the matter is, restaurant owners do share revenue with the workers, it may not be a set percentage, but a big part of a restaurants expenses is wages, a big part, and I know this as a fact!
    The difference is, the waiters and waitresses aren’t what bring customers to your location, the good ones do have some clientele but mostly people come to your establishment because of the food, and the atmosphere.
    Tell me this, how full would Scotiabank Place be with good food and atmosphere, the facts are clear, the people pay the big ticket prices to see the players, not the owners, coaches, or stick boy.
    The owners need a new agreement, to protect themselves against themselves. It’s not the players fault that the stupid owners conspire to find ways around the rules, if I decide to pay my waitresses $15.00 an hour and I go bankrupt because of it, is it my fault, or the waitresses fault?

  8. Mike8888 says:

    So are you saying that the cooks and chefs should be the highest paid employees or any restarant? In most cases, the cooks are the lowest paid. I know this for a fact. Atmosphere does draw customer’s but ultimately, it’s all about the food.

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