Players cave, but still no deal

02.15.05

The NHLPA swerved first in the salary cap game of chicken that the two sides have been playing for months. But there’s still no deal.

I’d initially been annoyed with the players for refusing to acknowledge that they couldn’t keep earning NBA salaries with NHL revenues. But their willingness – albeit last-minute – to remove their opposition on principle to a salary cap showed clearly that they are willing to compromse. In theory, all that’s left now is haggling over the numbers.

However, the owners’ stubbornness is only an indication that they have no real interest in reviving hockey. This season is a wash no matter what, but next season and beyond will suffer too. The hockey strike has possibly killed – and certainly severely crippled – the NHL. The players today showed for the first time that they are willing to talk seriously about a deal. The owners, on the other hand, seem unwilling to accept any responsibility for the league’s dire financial straits.

What gets me is how unnecessary this whole thing was. Nobody will win with this strike – not the owners, not the players, and certainly not the fans. Everyone loses.

The hockey season is taking longer to be declared dead than Yasser Arafat. It’s enough already. It’s February 15th. Just bury the season and move on. Please.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 DaninVan 02.17.05 at 3:18 AM

The players can still make baseball spring training if they hurry…

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2 Josh 02.17.05 at 11:27 PM

Well, it’s over.

Everyone will get to tee up at the golf clubs early this year, and without any playoff beards.

IMO, it was all about greed. Let the league go back to 21 teams, get rid of Nashville and Atlanta. Oh, can Bettman too. Right or wrong, the captain goes down with the ship.

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