When the owners made their ludicrous first offer last month, there was a lot of panic around the interwebs. We all know that the offer itself was “a bit” in the one-sided realm, but there wasn’t really much cause for concern at that point. Sure, it was an offer that generated a lot of talk, but the talk was in the media and on blogs and on Twitter. The talk was not where it should have been.
The talk was not among the NHLPA.
Now, almost a month later, we are finally going to get the NHLPA’s counter offer. Yes, it took them a month to respond. That’s as ludicrous as the initial offer itself. It appears to be a message to the owners that the players won’t concede as much as they did in 2004-2005. But why did it take them a month to send this message? It took a month to tell the owners “no?”
Therein lies my biggest concern. It’s not the fact that the offer in July was absurd, it’s that the players took so long to respond. Most of the focus is on the owners presenting this first offer, and then the Flyers offer-sheeting Shea Weber for $110 million. It seems like a contradiction that the players caught on to very quickly. But to wait a month, after saying they are eager to get a deal done, is just as hypocritical.
Is it me, or are both sides playing chicken?
It’s mind boggling how the NHL/NHLPA, having built this much momentum with a TV deal and record revenues, is willing to risk another lockout and bring it all crashing down. Another lockout this year, and it will be the third lockout in 16 years. No other major sport has had that many work stoppages in such a short period of time.
The 2004-2005 lockout was due to a bad system. This time around it’s just greed on both sides. The owners realize it’s a flawed system, but they need to give into revenue sharing to really help the bottom teams. There’s no sympathy here, it’s these same owners that over-expanded in the 90s and stretched the talent pool too thin. Now they are paying the price for making that quick buck.
As for the players, they aren’t off the hook. I, along with many fans, want to know why it took them a month to make a counter proposal. Five weeks and counting gentlemen, get your acts together. Now.