In August, Bettman said that a lockout was probable. In August, Bettman gave the NHL world September 15th as a deadline before enacting an official lockout. In September, Bettman said a lockout was now a reality and it is a lockout of unknown length. In early October, Bettman said the lockout would endure for the month or longer unless the players decided to play the game HIS way. Now as we near the end of October…Bettman says the lockout will indeed endure throughout November [aka NO-hockey yet-vember…..yuck!]. In the months since negotiations began that have past…each time Bettman gives the fans a tantalizing taste of what could be, only to cruelly snatch it away. It seems extremely cruel to tease the fans and players alike with false hope. Each day as Bettman pulls the strings a little tighter on the fading hope of the season, his legacy of lockouts grows stronger.
Following each statement[with exception of the latest one], the face of the NHL, Sidney Crosby was quick to believe that a solution still existed. Sidney Crosby expressed his great disappointment that yet again there is no deal in place. With the latest disappointment Crosby is finally conceding that it may be time to make the move to play abroad. Like Crosby…I have held firm in belief that a solution can be made and I am extremely disappointed that yet again no real progress has been made on the CBA….[the NHLPA provided not ONE but THREE proposals that the NHL barely glanced!] My disappointment is great but I will hold onto a sliver of hope for a partial season[I refuseto fully go to the dark side of doom and gloom] even as not just a week, but the entire month of November was put on the chopping block by Bettman. Many players have reacted to the latest loss of games by stating that they believed that Bettman had these games through November canceled back in the summer but is just announcing them when the time seems right to him. The longer this work stoppage goes on…the more it seems the players are correct in thinking that Bettman had anticipated these games being canceled back in the summer.
There are whispers of the Winter Classic being next on Bettman’s growing chopping block as he holds all the cards. Rumor has that the NHLPA is and has been more than willing to meet up and negotiate whereas the NHL [Bettman and his minions] are holding them at bay refusing to negotiate a deal. Correct me…but did Bettman not at one point[September or earlier] say that his aim was to minimize the number of games lost? As of today more than 300 league-wide regular season have been cut. If any progress is going to be made…it will take more than ONE side being willing to negotiate. I, myself would rather that these meetings take place stat before we lose the Winter Classic or lose the rest of the season.
NO-hockey yet-VEMBER has not yet begun but already I loathe it. Halloween usually brings a night of unpredictable games and November is usually when teams start getting in a groove…and scoring streaks are begun. Instead of watching their teams take to the ice…fans are forced to hear each day how MORE and MORE players deciding to play in the European leagues. It is nearly November and we should be getting to see each team beginning to take shape and settle into a pattern. October and November mean I’ve got stats on each team memorized….but this year with no NHL there are no stats to memorize or debate. When I think of Bettman and all his ‘official statements’…the only word that seems to come out is ‘lockout’….it is all I will remember of time as NHL Commissioner…3 lockouts. October and November have been taken away…but in December, I hope we hear Bettman say that hockey will return before the new year. In short…all I want for Christmas is my hockey team and 29 others back on the ice.
As always, until next time, nuck said.