Sunday, November 4, 2012

Fehr/Daly Meet, Cole Retiring?, Oilers Trade Looming? And More...

Good Morning Addicts!

After two weeks without talking, Bill Daly and Steve Fehr met last night in an attempt to save any of the season that can be salvaged. Although there have been phone conversations between the two sides, there have been no formal meeting since October 18th.

Forgive me if this news doesn't excite me. Sure, it can't be bad that the two sides met. In fact it's even better that they plan on meeting again early this week, but util anything concrete happens I remain of the belief that this season is toast.

With over 300 games already canceled including the Winter Classic it's hard to imagine the two sides comnig to an agreement on time for any hockey to be played. Although a December agreement was what saved the 1993-94 season it still left a mark on that year.

If the NHL resumes this year, I'll watch. Even with the bitterness and pessimism taking over the hope I tried to hold onto I never adopted the "I'm done with hockey, when it comes back I'm through with it!" attitude that so many people resorted to. I'm quite certain the majority of those people will be in the same bars I'm in cheering on their team when and if this labor strife ends.

However, it's hard for me to take any hockey that is played this year seriously. Without a full season played there will be an asterix in my mind next to the Stanley Cup champion, just like there is nect to the '94 Rangers.

I'm not going to sit here and pretend that if the league resumes and the Habs win I won't celebrate. I don't see that happening. But to be completely honest with you I wouldn't want them to win this year if there is NHL action. It's been too long since the Habs won ad when they do it again I want it to be earned after a full hard fought 82 game schedule where nobody can take anything away from them.

Habs And Hockey News

- Erik Cole is obviously not impressed with the lockout. Cole recently stated that he is considering heading towards Europe or even retiring if the whole season is lost.

- Greg Wyshynski asks if the "make whole" makeover will lead to the lockout's end?

- Edmonton Oilers president Kevin Lowe hinted a few days back that some trades could be made sooner rather than later to improve his club.

- USA Today Sports asked fans with tickets to the Winter Calssic for their reactions.



I think I have the exact opposite feeling.
There's no way they can't play Hockey this year.

All the players have to do is pull out a calculator and figure out that they will lose a lot more short and long term by not playing. If HRR falls significantly it won't matter whether it's 54% or 50% they will get less, possibly a whole lot less.
There are only 7 markets that are likely to come back in full numbers. That leaves 23 that are vulnerable to drop in fan base which equates to revenues.

The owners must also consider the long term effect another full lost year would have on their Franchise values. There are too many markets that could lose a portion of their fan base if this continues much longer. Especially considering they already have the players agreeing to a 50/50 split. This will be huge for them by the mid point of this contract and they know it. They just need to address the player's main concern over honoring their current contracts.
The rest should fall into place one the numbers are finalized.

Both sides clearly underestimated each others resolve
and are now feeling a lot of internal pressure.

We'll have Hockey in early December, maybe even before the end of this month......You heard it here first!

I admire your optimism and to be honest with you I'm hoping you're right. Thing is I have little to no faith left in either side. The owners may not be making money from hockey but their other business ventures bring them plenty if cash so I imagine they can wait, as for the players if they are to cave then the owners will have no reason not to hold out again when the next CBA expires.

Also while only seven teams may be making a profit only eight of them are needed for decisions to pass so seven works for the owners

I can understand your lack of faith but I have to think that the majority of the owners are not that short sighted.
They have been portrayed as greedy and not caring about the fans or the long term health of the league.
I just believe that is a very naive opinion, they just want most of the teams in the league to make money.
Personally, I think that is reasonable but it is all about how quick they get there.

As far as the players go, they are still just employees and should have a limited say in how the league is run but it ends there.
That is just the reality, the owners can always wait them out but they too realize by accepting a 50/50 split that they must accept this but hope to have a more gradual phase in.
They will lose medium term if this drags much longer and you have to assume they know this as well.

You are right on the 7 owners but there is only so far a minority with minimal real power can dictate to the majority regardless of the internal structure.
I think we are seeing this now with the owners again making the first move.

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