QUESTION….lockout conflict style with a side of ranting…

Today’s ambition is to look at some [not all] major questions surrounding the stalled CBA talks and maybe just maybe rant a little more [if possible] in regards to the ever increasingly real possibility of a 2nd lockout in less than 10 years.

Question: WHY are the OWNERS, and BETTMAN dragging out these negotiations?!
Answer: They want MORE money and want to the players to make LESS money!….interesting concept as it does not match their current actions….[see below questions].

Question: IF playing the game is not about the money…WHY do the players keep signing BIG money deals?

Question: IF the owners want the new CBA to limit the length of years a player can sign for at 5 years…WHY do OWNERS keep signing big name players to insanely LONG-TERM deals?

Question: WHY is it that both sides have very different views of the new potential CBA agreement?
Answer: I’ll tell you a few of the answers that are swirling around. The OWNERS want the players to give back a large % of their salary and as expected…the players do not like it. The OWNERS new CBA would drop the current salary cap by more that $12 million. The PLAYERS want to keep their salaries BUT also help teams that are not comfortable financially. It’s a little confusing with the LEAGUE & OWNERS stating that they want to limit PLAYER contracts to 5 years…and yet THEY KEEP signing their PLAYERS to these crazy BIG MONEY, LONG-TERM contracts[Crosby, Staal, Weber, Suter, and Parise, etc.]!!!  As always its all about the numbers and large discrepancy between the numbers on each side. Good grief….if it is about the numbers….why not just meet some where oh I don’t know in the middle?[50/50…call me crazy but would that not be easier than both sides fighting over who should get more of the dang revenue/bonuses % etc.?!]

Question: WHY….WHY tease the fans with the release of the broadcast schedule?
Answer: I will tell you this, it certainly is a cruel way to raise the fans hopes of their being a season only to have taken away if Bettman throws the gavel down with his desired ruling of a lockout.

Rumor has that the CBA meetings will not pick until next week sometime. There are NHLPA meetings scheduled and the NHL Board of Governors also have meetings scheduled in NYC…albeit not together. In a slightly shocking development Ron MacLean is not standing in his typical belief as one of Bettman’s regular rule-followers that agree there will be a lockout..he has stated “there will not be a lockout in 2012”. We shall see about that…I’d really like to for once believe something MacLean says…it would be AMAZING to hear that there will be no lockout…unfortunately his statement is NO guarantee or in any way settling to me. That is not a guarantee…not even close…the clock is ticking with only 10 days until Bettman drops the final nail in these negotiations. In a not so shocking reveal…Alex Ovechkin has openly stated that players will consider leaving the NHL should a year long lockout occur and that “The NHL is being stupid” with their expectation that players salary get cut by 24% for “nothing” and if they are so set on cutting out long term-deals WHY[again] do THEY keep signing players to these deals?…I’ve got to say you have a point with that Ovie! The NHLPA has included helping out teams that struggle financially…but the NHL’s version of that would cut out long-term deals and cut down salaries all around….not exactly what one would call close ideals. The Maple Leafs Mike Komisarek has had this to say regarding the CBA debate: “The PA has been more than willing to negotiate a fair deal. I don’t think the same can be said for other side.”

There is bound to be many more sparks to fly before all is said and done but we shall all continue to hope for the unexpected from Bettman & company come the 15th. Only time will tell. #nolockoutPLEASE&THANKYOU #hockeyin2012PLEASE

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

Crazy Contracts

Well with this latest long-term deal that Weber is about to sign officially(whether with Philly or Nashville) it highlights even brighter that craziness that is these long term contracts. The last few years have brought about many of these long-term deals -Kovalchuk w/ New Jersey, Ehrhoff w/ Buffalo, Crosby w/ Pittsburgh, Quick w/ LA, Staal w/ Carolina, Suter & Parise w/ Minnesota & of course the potential Weber deal to name a few, all ranging from 10-14 years in length. These are becoming a frightening trend amongst big names & tend to be heavily front-loaded…Crosby, Suter, & Parise all will make upwards of $12 million next year whereas Weber will make $14 million….a hefty price tag for all teams involved. It blows my mind to think that Weber will not only be the highest paid defenseman in the league, but the highest paid player in the league period. Which when you compare these mega salaries to the Sedins who seem even more like a bargain @ $6.1 million per year. In the last 3 years, the Sedins combined have won 2 Art Ross trophies, 1 Hart trophy, & 1 Ted Lindsay trophy. It makes me appreciate them both even more every time another outrageous contract is revealed & if there ever was any doubt that they were not interested in where the most money will be offered but rather the team’s desire to win, that doubt should no longer exist. Crazy contracts seem to be the norm as there are more signed each year, & each year a new extreme reached such as with Weber. I’m sorry but $14 million for a defenseman?! Yes he’s one of the top defensemen in the league BUT that is more than ANY other player in ANY position! I think $14 million is too hefty a price tag for any player to demand from their team especially in this salary cap era. I think it an extreme for Weber to insure that he gets his way….and I’m sorry BUT $14 million still just boggles my mind!! I guess the absurdness of its length & worth will continue to shock until the next crazy contract comes to light(*pending the conditions of the new CBA when both sides finally reach an agreement).

Nuck said. Sarah E.L.

I must also mention that my prayers & thoughts go the families &friends of the victims of the Aurora,Colorado shooting. I cannot even fathom what that community & the families are facing right now, but I do know that the power of prayer is stronger than even we can realize.