The NHL and NHLPA are run by a bunch of idiots. I am now 100% convinced of this.
It’s the only explanation for the absolute madness that transpired Thursday.
If you haven’t heard yet, the NHL labor talks are at another standstill after the NHL rejected the NHLPA’s proposal presented Thursday afternoon. This was coming off an overwhelmingly positive two days of talks that gave a lot of fans, including me, hope that a deal would be made as soon as Friday.
All the way back in August, I criticized the owners for their greed, but I was wrong in thinking greed had only infiltrated one side. Now both sides are being completely blinded by their own greed and self-righteousness.
The NHL and NHLPA are both shooting themselves in the foot, yet they continue to be arrogant and thinking they have something to prove. Someone needs to explain the definition of negotiation to these sides because they seem to have forgotten.
On Wednesday, the NHL made a lot concessions, including increasing the “make-whole” provision from $211 million to $300 million (something the league said they’d never do) as well as agreeing to not touching unrestricted free-agent eligibility, salary arbitration, and the entry-level system; but the NHL was very adamant on keeping a five-year cap on player contracts.
The NHLPA decided they couldn’t live with the provision of not having a player contract more than five years, so they rejected the NHL’s offer Wednesday and sent their own proposal that capped player contracts at eight years, which was then, in turn, rejected by the NHL.
Now all the concessions noted in the above paragraph are off the table.
So, here we are, without any hockey, because of a difference of three years between player contracts, and with no plans for future talks.
It’s quite ridiculous. A deal is there, but both sides continue to play politics, and not anything that fits the definition of sane or negotiation.
The league will almost certainly survive, but at what cost? This isn’t the NFL or the MLB. Only three NHL teams are really making a profit. The others either barely made a profit or lost money, so another lost season has the potential to do horrors to smaller teams.
I haven’t even mentioned the reputation loss the NHL will experience from fans and non-fans alike if this continues. Some have already checked out.
Again, I ask “Why does the NHL hate its fans?”
Get a deal done, and please end this pain.