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Friday, September 21, 2012

Dear NHLPA: Time to Wake Up

It is official.

The NHL Board of Governors have locked out the players, meaning the 2012-13 NHL season will be — at best — postponed.

Many predicted this would happen, but few actually took steps and precautions in case the premonitions became reality.

I, however, was one of them.

You see, I am a simple man who likes simple things in life.

I enjoy long walks on the beach with my loved ones, I enjoy the soft ocean breeze blowing through my window, I enjoy cold beer, pizza and Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream.

Most importantly, I love my hockey.

I am the type of person who does not mind if someone eats the last slice of pizza even though I am hungry, but you better not change that channel on game night or you my friend are going to experience a world of hurt.

So with the risk of there not being a season in 2012-13, I took steps to ensure that the contained beast does not release itself.

Sure, I could have spent some time with my wife and kids. Instead I spent countless hours, erasing my PVR of footage from my daughters' The Mickey Mouse Club House and, unknowing to my wife, erased her Glee, Ugly Betty and Desperate Housewives episodes.

Was I wrong to do this? Yes I was. But it was for a good cause. It was done in order for me to PVR about 40 different games from the 2011-12 season.

You see my friends, I have plans of rejoicing watching old game tapes — which for the record I have not yet seen — while the common man is forced to cuddle up next their wife and enjoy Glee or other such programming.

While you try to come to terms with the feelings of betrayal, hatred and perpetual displeasure towards Gary Bettman, I will sit back and relax with the game.

Yet, in spite of my overzealous preparation, I still find myself outright disgusted with the NHLPA.

In short, they are a bunch of cry baby millionaire athletes who better sign a bloody CBA soon.

Before I go on, let me just point out a couple of things that I know I will be attacked on.

I know:

  • That it is hard to find sympathy with the owners who cry wolf about losses and then pay Shea Weber $26 million in a calendar season. 
  • That the players accepted a 24% rollback in salary and agreed to a salary cap. 
  • The owners are a bunch of billionaires looking to make more money. 
  • Ticket prices have increased since the 2004-05 lockout. 
  • Gary Bettman is a complete douche with a napoleon complex. 
  • The BOG and NHL have locked out the players three different times under the guidance of Bettman. 
  • The owners keep shooting themselves in the foot with bad contracts and decisions, including keeping the Phoenix Coyotes afloat. 
Despite all of the negatives, it is the owners' right to run their businesses as they see fit and if/when things do not turn out as planned, can scrap it all and start from scratch.

In the real world, if a business does poorly or if an idea bombs, then shops are closed, employees are laid off and the world moves on.

Let’s be honest here for a second, the NHL is a freaking game. The NHLPA is not a group of individuals who are bettering society. They are not striving to feed the mouths of the hungry or finding cures for diseases.

We are talking about a bunch of millionaires playing a freaking game who ultimately want to make more money.

They do not care about the fans. They do not care about the thousands of people across North America who make a living off the NHL, or the NHL employees who just took a 20% cut in salary. All that matters at the end of the day is that their contracts are guaranteed and that they make a minimum of 10 times the average Canadian salary per year.

Why on earth should I, or any of you, side with a group of people who are simply looking to line their pockets with even more money? Especially after reading tweets like that of Paul Bissonnette who said “Fans. The players understand your frustration. But at the end of the day we are fighting for our futures, not yours. That's the reality.”

Here is a little Newsflash for you Mr. Bissonnette: the average salary of a doctor in Quebec is $168,000 a year. You on the other hand made $738,000 last season despite playing just 188 total minutes. In three hours of work you made the equivalent of just over four years of service as a doctor and somehow I am supposed to feel sympathy for your “cause”.

Granted, I understand the amount of gym and practice time put in. And I realize the amount of time and effort that players donate to charity. But to expect any knowledgeable fan to side with you for playing a game leads me to believe that your rock star lifestyle has gone to your head and that players have lost touch with reality.

The owners are the ones who take risks with buildings, expenses, employees, marketing, publicity, taxes, travel and players. When the economy suffers, it is the owners who take a hit.

The players simply play hockey, or at least that's what they are supposed to do.

Perhaps it's time you realize this.

Now we are all deprived.



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Bryan is a Marketer by day, writer for HabsAddict.com by night and full time fan of the game. Follow me on twitter @BryanWilley78 but don't bother looking for me on Facebook, I'm just too old for that now!

(Photo by ERIC THAYER , REUTERS)

5 comments:

i got my nhl13 for 73$. pk subban is injured for 5more weeks and cole has a concussion...My wallet and entertainment are both satisfied. Only thing, the stanley cup parade will feel quiet in my living room!

couldn't have said it any better myself. Nicely put Willey.

couldnt have said it better myself!!! btw theres always a way to get some european league games online...... I hear there gonna have alot of "new" talent this year!!! lol

Thanks guys.

Truth be told that when the threat of the lockout was being discussed I was actually in the players camp but then found myself getting angered at what some players were saying.

I hate the fact that the owners cannot govern themselves but it's their business' so are ultimatey free to run them as they see fit.

I just want the puck to drop because although we are in pre-season camp mode right now, I am feeling withdrawal.

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