17 September 2012

NHL message to the fans - breaking it down

The following message to fans was issued by the National Hockey League on Sunday:

After being scrawled on a napkin by Bill Daly on Saturday.

Despite the expiration of the Collective Bargaining Agreement…

Let’s make it sound as serious as facing the expiration of the last yoghurt in your refrigerator.

…the National Hockey League has been…

Scott Gomez? Oh, that doesn't read “National Hockey League has-been”.

…and remains…


…committed to negotiating around the clock…

This clock just seems to be situated in an entirely different location to wherever the Players are negotiating.

…to reach a new CBA that is fair to the Players and to the 30 NHL teams.

But to paraphrase Mike Milbury, all CBAs are created fair to the Players, but some are more fair than others.

Thanks to the conditions fostered by seven seasons under the previous CBA…

Which, ergo, was an unmitigated disaster for the League from the start.

…competitive balance has created arguably the most meaningful regular season in pro sports…

Just think how much more arguably meaningful we can make it by slashing it in half!

…a different team has won the Stanley Cup every year…

Though Vegas oddsmakers are strongly tipping the 2004/05 winners to triumph again this year.

…fans and sponsors have agreed the game is at its best…

Look, another group of faceless, wealth generators that you fans clearly have natural empathy with.

…and the League has generated remarkable growth and momentum.

Matched only by the League’s impending generation of remarkable stagnation and regression.

While our last CBA negotiation resulted in a seismic change…

[Insert Dustin Byfuglien summer diet joke here]

…in the League's economic system…

i.e. Bobby Holik being restricted to only 57% of League revenues in future.

…and produced corresponding on-ice benefits…

Fans and sponsors have agreed the shootout is wonderful.

…our current negotiation is focused on a fairer and more sustainable division…

Except for the Northwest Division, which will be garbage forever at this rate.

…of revenues with the Players as well as other necessary adjustments…

[Insert Dustin Byfuglien tailor joke here]

…consistent with the objectives of the economic system…

Lining Ed Snider’s caviar-plated pockets.

…we developed jointly with the NHL Players' Association seven years ago.

Whatever did happen to that lovely Mr Saskin?

Those adjustments are attainable through sensible, focused negotiation -- not through rhetoric.

That includes rhetorical questions such as: “These idiots can’t be stupid enough to cause another lockout, right?”

This is a time of year for all attention to be focused on the ice, not on a meeting room.

Which is why the League is staggered that the Players have not seriously considered its proposal to hold the playoffs across 12 Mexican cities during summer, ending in the re-branded Cancun StanCup Final in mid-September.

The League, the Clubs and the Players all have a stake in resolving our bargaining issues appropriately and getting the puck dropped as soon as possible.

Unless one Club’s fourth line Players have just iced the puck with no timeout available, where, as usual, that Club can suddenly discover several equipment problems preventing the puck from being dropped as soon as possible.

We owe it to each other…

“We” being the players, “it” being money and “each other” being the owners.

…to the game and, most of all, to the fans.

But we’re sure a disingenuous press release will keep you happy for a good couple of months.

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