The Circus has Left Town



Thank ******* ****** that gong show is finally done with!  But I feel like we have to have a closure piece on this disaster.  This all should have been done AT WORST by late October.  But both sides just kept holding out thinking they could screw the other and in the end they ended up with a fair deal for both sides.  Congrats guys.  Just humilating for the game, if they weren’t a joke in the United States before this, they definitely are now.  Hell, they’ve become one up here!


But thank god this is it.  We don’t have to put up with it again for 8 years, 10 if we’re lucky.  And rest assured they’ll be stupid enough to do it again and destroy whatever they have built up.  The owners will ask for some adjustments and the players will overreact which will tick the owners off so they’ll ask for more which will further upset the players and then the players will take to whatever form of social media is around by that time and they’ll cry to the fans about how it’s all on the owners and on and on and on.


There has been a lot of debate on Sportsnet and on TSN as to which side won this, is Bettman a good comish, and so on.  Some of the analysts (no names menioned Kick Nypreos) will just spout off and keep their bias and not try to actually look at things objectively.  These are just some of my thoughts on the mess and I will try to break it down as best and objectively as I can.


Who won?

Some people are saying the players won.  No.  The owners won, how can you say the players won?!  The owners are walking away with a more owner friendly deal, there for they’ve won!  Is this seriously that hard to analyze??  My buddy Nic…Kick went on the air last night and tried to claim the players won and that the small market teams will still be hurting.  He stated that salaries will just go up again and the owners will be back in the same spot.  Well I could be wrong about this….but I could have sworn the owners are now getting 50% of revenue rather than the 43% they were getting in the last CBA.  IT DOESN’T MATTER IF IT GOES UP “KICK”!!!  50/50 and a big increase on revenue sharing.  So the owners will be making more money and more money will go to small market teams through revenue sharing.


He also talked about how last summer big market teams ran small market teams show.  “Nash went to the Rangers….the Flyers signed Weber to an offer sheet”.  Ok, Nash called his shot on going to New York because of his NTC and the Preds matched the Flyers OS.  Not to mention the Minnesota Wild got both Parise and Suter.  Soooooo how exactly are the big market teams so dominant?  Good on Doug McLean for calling him out on that BS, all he was trying to do was make Bettman look bad.  I realize “Kick” is lacking sleep, but his opinion was embarrassing.  We get it, you are a player and will always be a player.  But you are now an analyst, try to leave your bias at home for a change.


But I will get off Kick Nypreos for a minute and say that Fehr and the PA did do a good job in keeping the loses in check.  But that’s not a win.  The players got a good deal here, it’s a fair deal for both sides, just realize it won’t be perfect for either.  The GM’s and agents will still be able to find a way to get around some things, but it will be more air tight than the last deal.  But the NHLPA did probably get the best deal they could get but by no means is that a win for them.  It doesn’t make sense to say “the PA was in a no win situation but I feel like they won”.  No, they lost otherwise it wouldn’t have been a “no win” situation.  Owners won, but it’s a good deal for both sides and one that should have been done in the fall.


Is Bettman a good comissioner?

He is for the owners.  He got them the system they needed in 2005, and he got them a better deal this time around.  But when questions like this come up I always ask “is there someone better?”  And while I don’t know it for a fact, I’m sure there is.  He is a PR nightmare.  He seemingly lacks people skills.  Some might not think it is an important quality to have for that position, but for how much he has to face the media I believe it is a vital skill to have.  If people like you then they’ll be a lot more likely to want to do business with you.  And while I was fully on the owners side by the end of this because it became evident to me that Fehr could have done a deal a long time ago but was just trying to push for more and more (and while he technically got more, I highly doubt he got enough to justify losing the millions for the players that he lost), don’t think for a minute that I thought the league were saints in all this.


Some people will point out how much league revenues have increased under Bettman’s watch.  Yep, they sure have.  A trained chimp could have ran the league and increased league revenues in the last 20 years!  Do these people not notice that the sports industry exploded in the late 80’s/early 90’s and hasn’t really slowed down?  He’s a product of the times, of the system, and is in no way an example of the job he’s done.  An example of the job he’s done is how he has handled things like expansion in the Southern markets and getting the league a good TV deal which I believe he has done an average job.  The TV deal is a tough sell in the States because hockey doesn’t work well on TV, it’s too fast.  Not for me and you, but for average fans which is who they’re selling to.


Under his watch however the league’s marketing started out as atrocious and has improved to just ok in the last 7 years.  Things such as the NHL Network are a complete joke.  The programing is cheaply done and is unimaginative.  NHL radio on SIRIUS/XM is even worse.  Some of my buddies and I were talking yesterday about how they’ll replay broadcasts of old all-star games.  Who in the **** wants to LISTEN to old all-star games?!  It’s awful, and it’s things like that which show me they’re doing a poor job promoting the league.


He has won more war’s than he’s lost, and league revenues have grown.  But I have very little doubt that there isn’t several other candidates out there that are better suited for the job.


Something that ticked me off

George Parros.  Good dude.  He has been good to my nephews the couple of times that they’ve got to meet him, one of my buddies spent some time with him a few years back and loved him, you have never heard a bad thing about him off the ice.  He sent out a tweet Sunday morning, part of that tweet said ” thanks to all our fans out there who suffered through this with us”.  Shut up George.


The fans suffered, people that work for the organizations who got laid off or only worked part time suffered, don’t tell anyone how the players “suffered” through any of that.  You’re leader could have done a deal months ago, it even leaked that he told the players in December to hold out because they could still get more.  Don’t act like you guys had no control over any of this.  A good dude, a smart dude (Harvard grad), and maybe I’m reading too much into that but I thought it was just a flat out stupid choice of words.


Can the league recover?

It can, but the backlash from this is much worse than the last 2 lockouts.  This was flat out stupid, everyone knows it, both sides are to blame, and it will take a while to get back to where they were.  Remember last spring, the Western final was Phoenix vs L.A.  As boring of hockey as it was, it was great for the league that big markets like that were getting their buildings filled every night.  Now they’ll be lucky to get the flies back that did come to the games in Phoenix.


I speak for everyone when I say thank god this shit show is over!  I’m pumped to be able to watch hockey again, but like hell myself or the large majority of hockey fans will forget this mess anytime soon.


Follow me on twitter @TJ_Soups

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