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Players - Owners Only Meeting


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I read several different blogs today on the potential Players vs Owners potential meeting that was suggested by Bettman. The last time it was a meeting like this which finally settled the last CBA, but most of the blogs on the meeting have been negative as the owners will school the players again. But this take by Dan Cloutier of HockeyBuzz deserves a laugh, considering there is really nothing to laugh about as the season seems to be in the process of being cancelled.

No Gary and Donnie?

The NHL made a funny. Mediators sit with the league and the NHLPA for about 35 seconds and come to the conclusion the two sides are too far apart for mediation to work. The solution? To follow up mediation with a CBA negotiation session without Gary Bettman or Donald Fehr in the room. Oh, this will go well.

Here's why I find this idea so appalling: Okay, so you take guys like Kris Versteeg...Unintelligent kids from the suburbs who talk tougher than they actually are...Then put them on the same debate team as Sidney Crosby. Sid the Kid might be the best player in the world, and when he speaks, the butt-kissing media fawn all over him...but I think he's a wiener. He's always annoyed me for some reason. Great hockey player, without question. Hate his attitude though. As a kid, I always wanted to punch Brainy Smurf in the face too.

You put guys like that in a room with the anger management issue that is Brian Burke, and the complete loon that is Charles Wang, and see what occurs. I can picture the conversation now:

Crosby: "I realize team owners are businessmen trying to earn money. We appreciate playing for you, and we appreciate you paying us. This is not a lose-lose situation. This should be a win-win situation. We've agreed to move to a 50/50 split eventually, and money was the point of the lockout, right? So if you just gave our business plan a chance, you'd see everyone can make millions from this. We know what the financial issues in the NHL are, and we're prepared to do our part to help. Just read our offer on the back of this cocktail napkin, and you'll see for yourselves."

Burke: "Look, you little wiener: The Leafs made a boatload of money, along with a few other teams. Most teams made less than the average NHL player does, and that just ain't right. And since when do players have a say in matters such as these? Back when I was your age, I would have earned $15 per week playing for the Red Wings, and I would have just been happy to have a job and a steady girlfriend. I would have earned that little, and I still could have beat the hell out of you with one arm tied behind my back. So suck it up already and quit whining. God, listening to you moan is more annoying than Kessel."

Versteeg: "Check this out ya'll: It's like my man Biggie said, if you gonna play the game, you gotta get jiggy with the home juice, or you end up capped in the streets, know what I'm sayin'? That geezer Betty hasn't got anything between his ears or his legs, and it's time someone pops that sucka in the G6. I'm gonna bagel him in cream cheese with my gangsta gat launcha; the mo-fo will be all bleedin', like, word up! Know what I'm sayin'?"

Wang: "Is it Tuesday? I always have toast on Tuesday. Brown toast. And a poached egg."

The players and owners would get together, and the entire situation would be a Gong Show because both sides are a combination of too lame, too dumb, and too self-interested to listen. Hour after hour of inane rambling from people completely caught up in themselves. By the time the meeting would end 27 hours later, both sides would claim victory, and yet, we'd still have no CBA. That much ego in one room would be a nightmare.

Leave lawyering to the lawyers. Most lawyers I know could survive an atom bomb being dropped on their heads, so eventually, they'll figure a CBA out. Adding more people to the conversation is just going to confuse everyone, especially the average jock who has a hard time counting to potato.


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