Vulgar Opinions: NHL Lockout Thoughts
In no particular order with little to no credibility. I follow the chatter, but I don’t get overly involved, not being a lawyer or any kind of expert whatsoever. Undoubtedly this makes some observations more BS than others. But these are my thoughts:
If the reports that a select few owners are holding things up is true, why aren’t people speaking up? If I’m one of the other owners that wants to play hockey, I’m totally pointing the finger at the colleagues that are ruining this for everyone. On some level, you have to think it would hurt their ability to attract players. “Hey remember those guys that didn’t want to give you money? That guy (Jeremy Jacobs) is their ringleader.” Players can call Bettman whatever they want, but I think their focus is at least a little misplaced.
Additionally, it’s a good bet that the NHLPA, and probably a few of the players know who these guys are too. If you want to play the public relations game and look like the good guys, why aren’t you highlighting the bad eggs? If you think some of the owners are being overly greedy, you can make their fans like them a little less. (Not sure this matters with Jacobs because most Bruins fans already hate him.)
Given that the Owners are Bill Lumberg and the players are Milton Waddams, it might not be a bad time to consider things like the above and essentially light the place on fire. Such a brazen eff you by the players would at least make me smile, and at this point is all I can root for. Because while the players undoubtedly empathize with the fans more than the owners, I’m not sure they empathize enough.
Granted anything in the above would piss off several individuals. However, I think there are a few that have enough leverage or money to where it doesn’t matter. Sure you’re going to make some enemies, but aren’t you going to make some friends too? If Terry Pegula stands with the players on some level, what does that do for Darcy Regier’s ability to bring them to Buffalo? If you’re throwing fists full of dollars at your front office to create the best scouting network in the league, does it matter all that much if no one wants to trade with you?
Also, where is the media in all this? I can read transcripts and analyses of the talks until my eyes bleed. Why isn’t anyone going after these guys? I’m sure there are a few media members who know who the bad egg owners are. Be more vocal, that is your job, right? When do I get to read “Jeremy Jacobs and Ed Snider, the Penny-Pinching Miser Bastards Ruining Hockey For Everyone”?
Does the fact that there is so little infighting among the various groups speak to what an old, white, North American boys club the NHL really is? Why don’t some of them act like individuals instead of simply preserving the status quo?
What’s going to stop some billionaire from starting a renegade hockey league that limits itself to can’t-miss markets and avoids many of the mistakes of the current NHL administration? If you put a pro team with NHL caliber players in Buffalo right now, it would sell out, both because fans are hockey starved, and because they’re just itching for a tangible way to stick it to the NHL.