Well, since we have a gap here until something else interesting happens or I come up with some other off the wall topic, I was wondering if it's too soon or even relevant to discuss everyone's final thoughts on the lockout. In general, considering that there seemingly was no consequence to the NHL, owners or players for having a lockout, I'm starting to think that having a lockout at the end of each CBA will now just be an event that is used by everyone to get a bit of a reset and sorta start over. From the players, they lose some money, but it also gives extra time to heal up from injuries, get some extra training in and if you are in the upper echelon of players, you get to take a paid European vacation to play some hockey. From the owners side, they also lose money while games aren't being played. However, coming out of the lockout, they know they will have a lower salary cap and will get some level of clawback. The fans, of course, get bitter and uppity at being taken for granted, but as TV ratings and league revenue show, we have every reason to be taken for granted. We WILL come back, no matter what and the NHL knows that. Put all that together and we know the script for the end of the next CBA. Kinda shitty, but I think that's exactly how it goes.
Here in Vegas, my friend and defensive partner Joey was quite outspoken against the players and after many spirited debates, I came to agree with at least part of what he is saying. At the center of his way of looking at things is the reality that ultimately, the players will and even MUST lose something to get the season back underway. And while it is distasteful to give something up, another reality is that it is guaranteed that a handful of stupid rich owners will promptly drive all salaries sky high again. Therefore, it is ridiculous for us as fans to be held hostage by a relatively smaller number of players who are looking at making perhaps 45 million over a career instead of the 50 million they were promised. Factually, there is a lot of reality in this outlook. Players WILL give something back to end lockouts and owners WILL promptly recreate the situation that caused the lockout. Looking at what just happened with the buyouts and subsequent resignings this summer, it seems almost like there wasn't even a lockout.
At the start of the lockout and even after, I had quite a bit of bitterness towards the owners. When Craig Leopold cry's poormouth and then signs the contracts he did I feel like the owners SHOULD be punished for their stupidity. A contract is a contract. When you sign one, you should honor it and the fact that owners bitched the players were making too much just didn't sit well with me and still doesn't. Their fear, of course, is that if they don't outstupid the other owners, they will lose out on getting the players they think they need. Not every owner acts this way, but the ones that do go to such a ridiculous extreme that everyone else pays the price for it. Offer sheet on Weber anyone? Though the cap puts a teeny teeny bit of restraint on owners, the get out of jail buyouts rewarded here will probably also be an expected thing of the future. Think about it, some owner could sign a ridiculous contract this year and still jettison it next year. As messed up as this line of thinking is, I'm almost hoping Lecavalier gets bought out again and earns more money for not playing then he does FOR playing.
By the end of the lockout, I pretty much hated both the players and the owners and wanted them both to just STFU and finish their money spat and start playing again. After hearing tweets like Roy's about his Lamborghini and seeing the skilled players abandon their union partners here to go play hockey elsewhere, I lost a lot of respect for the players. Ultimately, the top players and the owners with the deepest pockets have a lot in common, they will get what benefits them the most and the rest of the owners and players will live according to whatever the top agrees amongst themselves. Pretty much like the real world. Surprisingly, I thought the players walked away from this deal in much better shape then the owners did. Teams that signed long term deals, like the Hawks and others, are still in trouble for contracts they didn't buy out. It worked out great this year for us. Four years from now? Who knows. I have to admit I don't have much to bitch about as I was one of the sheep who came running back, especially when the Hawks got off to such a good start. While I still retain a lot of high falutin thoughts about the morality of it all, I've kind of come to accept that lockouts are probably going to be necessary from here on out.
Talk amongst yourselves.
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