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And we think the hockey situation is bad in Philly? Foxtrot Uniform Charlie Kilo.


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The 1st few paragraphs just some up a typical blogger/fan's frustration. Then add in Edmontons own personal arena hell and it's actually funny in a completly sympathetic kind of way. To Edmonton fans, hang in there! The league isn't stupid enough to let Edmonton to move! (oh wait... We thought they were not stupid enough in the CBA negotiations to allow a lockout... oops)

I'm not anyone's side except the 6 year old who just wants to watch his favorite team/player play and will never be six again and doesn't understand why grownups just can't play their game. But hey, thought this was worth a read.

Foxtrot Uniform Charlie Kilo

by Richard Cloutier, Edmonto Blogger/Fan

I bought an iPhone 5 today, because my HTC cell crapped out after only 16 months of use. The company that I purchase cell service from absolutely hosed me, and if I wasn't locked into a stupid contract, I would have told them to get stuffed. Instead, I got stuck with a huge bill and a new phone that took me hours to figure out how to get Twitter running on it.

Why am I telling you this? Because it was the best part of my day. That's the sort of day it's been in sunny Edmonton, Alberta.

Item: The NHL offers the NHLPA a very reasonable new CBA. The NHLPA? More or less ignores the NHL proposal, and shoots back three counter-offers that almost guarantee the entire 2012/2013 season will go down the drain.

Why do this? Just to make me look bad? I've been saying positive stuff on Twitter for the last 24 hours, because EVERYONE was convinced the NHL's offer was going to receive a positive reaction from the players. I have news for you N.H.L.P.A.: I don't need any help to look bad.

The NHLPA's reaction to the NHL's offer today was absolutely appalling. And seeing the smug look on Shawn Horcoff's face while he stood behind Donald Fehr at the news conference made me want to throw my new iPhone through the television. If anyone deserves an immediate pay cut, it's the grossly overpaid, under-achieving Horcoff. Who works in the PR department for the NHLPA? News Flash: Having the players stand behind Fehr during news conferences makes them look like members of an organized crime syndicate. Wait, on second thought, let them stand there. That's exactly what the NHLPA is. The Hell's Angels on skates.

Are any of you still on the NHLPA's side? I've been saying for almost a whole month now that the NHL is not the problem here. And Fehr...I would take a bucket of Bettmans over that guy. Obviously Fehr and Allan Walsh attend the same house parties. They likely have to pay the cast of the Muppets to be there, because no one else would want to go.

The one...well, I won't call it "good news"...but the one thing to keep in mind in all of this is, the NHLPA was just acting tough today. The next thing that will happen is the NHL will announce another big pile of game cancelations in an attempt to appear just as tough. The PA will react to that by doing absolutely nothing until the day they figure is the last possible date to create an 82 game schedule from. Obviously, things aren't going to get real for the NHLPA until the actual season is on the line. There still is a seven-day window here to solve the CBA and get in a full season. Expect six days of mutual stalling, followed by a one-day attempt to sort things out. If that doesn't work, I think the entire season is toast.

Doesn't the NHL and NHLPA realize what's at stake here? I have absolutely nothing to blog about. I've had nothing to blog about for months. They should stop being so selfish and consider what they're putting me through. I can only write Seinfeld blogs for so long before my show will be pulled off the air.

Item: The City of Edmonton and the Katz Group playing Musical Stares over the new arena deal that completely blew up this week. Oilers owner Daryl Katz posted a brief message on the Oilers website today that, I felt, was a bit of turtle. I don't think he expected the city (not just City Council, but also the public) to react so strongly and so negatively to his attempt to strong-arm the City into the decision he wanted. The City said the deal was dead. In his statement, Katz indicated he doesn't know where things will go from here, but he hoped the two sides could come to an agreement. Wish you could take that last letter to council back, me thinks? Does the Katz Group hire the same PR people as the NHLPA?

City Council might be dumb, but they ain't stupid. What happens now is, a mediator (Gary Bettman) will get involved. He'll sit both sides down, and tell them to quit being moronic. The rink deal that got nuked on Wednesday will come back to life, and both sides will concede a little to get this entire situation over with. One thing I heard over and over today was Edmontonians expresses frustration at both sides for not just building the rink already. If City Council thinks saying no just to show up Katz will help them at election time, they're wrong. To 95% of Edmontonians, both YEGCC and the Katz Group look like failures. Edmonton needs a new rink and everyone knows it.

What's stupid about both the NHL/NHLPA thing and the new arena deal thing is that there's plenty of money here for everyone. We're not talking about the EIG putting out cash calls and being on death's door because of financial difficulties. Katz is rich. The City of Edmonton has money (see the decision to continue LTR expansion at a cost of $3bil+ for evidence of that). Most NHL teams are profitable, and hockey players have never had it so good. Millionaires battling billionaires is something everyone hates, regardless of location or whatever sport we're talking about. People who spend a quarter of their entire income to buy game tickets have a hard time relating to Billionaire vs. Millionaire scenarios.

The only people getting screwed over here are hockey fans. Everyone else is winning, even if they think they're losing. And that's just sad

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Pleased to be explaining to me how the City of Edmonton is "moronic" for rejecting the ever-increasing demands of a billionaire?

Pleased to be explaining to me how NOT spending taxpayer money to finance the personal plaything of a "businessman" who claimed he didn't realize threatening to move the Oilers out of Edmonton DURING A LOCKOUT would "upset" the people of Edmonton who have sold out the games for his moribund franchise?

Pleased to be explaining how the players rejecting a de facto pay cut on deals offered to them by the owners who will make more money if their strong-armed tactics succeed?

The owners are demanding an immediate reduction in revenue distribution from 57/43 to 50/50. The players have offered a move to a 50/50 split over the course of the deal.

Of the two "sides" here, I don't find either to be particularly attractive or sympathetic. I just find the whining of men who's main argument is "stop me before I spend again" to be beyond childish; while I can respect the perspective of players with limited career-lengths wanting to have the contracts they signed honored by the people who offered them.

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@radoran If the signed contracts are not honoured, AND the GM's knew this whole mess would be addressed in the next CBA talks...that means the GM's who signed players last summer were bargaining in bad faith.

The NHL has already said that the contracts aren't necessarily worth the value that they have indicated because of the escrow rule. Now they just want the escrow rule to pick up an extra 25% or so...

If I am a player, how do I have any sort of feeling that ownership is bargaining in good faith about anything?

Again, I'm stunned that players like Hartnell and Simmonds signed those deals for that length without any signing bonus.

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The players need to play hardball here or forever be the NHL's lap dogs... Still can't figure out how it's legal to throw out the contracts but I believe it's a clause in the last CBA. The league has it going one way or another!

It's "legal" because of the escrow provision - which was never envisioned to be a method of recouping 1/4 of a contract's value (at least, by the NHLPA) but, rather, a means of giving slight haircuts to some of the more prosperous players.

The NHL is severely overplaying their hand. Yes, the cattle only have so many places to graze - but there's only a market for meat as long as it's not rancid.

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