Ramblings –Thoughts on the NHL’s posturing, and a look at what’s in store for the remaining RFAs (Nov 30)

Dobber

2020-11-30

The 15th annual Fantasy Hockey Guide is out and ready for download! Draft List too! Updated up to the Johnny Boychuk news. To my knowledge, this is the only fantasy hockey guide available right now. So if you're hankerin' for a fantasy guide and haven't tried mine yet, I guess now is as good a time as any.

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The owners vs. player stalemate concerns me. Both sides have already hammered out a new CBA that takes things through the next five years and the owners already want to renegotiate for this year. This is just six or eight owners pressuring Gary Bettman for help, but it's nonsensical. And on so many levels. And I say this because the NHL has to proceed regardless, since the new CBA says that lockouts and strikes are not allowed. For the good of the game, there will be no stoppages for no tangible reason. And since this was negotiated during a pandemic – they can't use the current pandemic as a reason either. So at the very worst, all they are doing is delaying the season until February 1 and the season will be 48 games long. And those owners know that the players can't accept a further rollback because it opens the door for…future requests for rollbacks. So all this posturing is about those 12 extra games, when those 12 games will mean a lot to fans and maintaining interest in the sport. The longer they posture, the more likely this thing goes down to 48 games. The long-term impact of this will cost those six or eight owners more than the net-loss of playing 12 more games.

For the first time that I can ever remember, the players worked with the owners. They conceded, without any pushback, a portion of their salary and agreed to a cap freeze for two years (and a tiny, tiny increase in Year 3). The NHL and NHLPA held hands and sung Kumbaya. Unprecedented. The league was about to recover as best as possible. But now the owners are spoiling this unprecedented partnership when no good will come of it. The players won't concede because it would state that they can be pushed into future concessions and changes. And if the owners continue to pursue this, then the season will start a month late with 12 fewer games, fur