The first two parts of the headline are correct (at least at this point). The NHL lockout has left fans with no Boston Bruins and it is accurate to say that the wonderful Winter Classic has been cancelled. The playoffs to win Lord Stanley’s Cup have not been cancelled but as the lockout continues and sides appear to still be very far apart, I have to say that the prospect of losing the entire NHL season seems more and more like a reality.
Anger Towards the Players Not Justified
I was talking with a Bruins’ fan yesterday and they were badmouthing the players, saying that they didn’t want to play and that they were spoiled. I had to first say, “Huh?” And that what I meant, “huh?”
Let’s keep the no-so-distant history of this lockout straight. The players want to play. They were willing to do so without a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). The owners locked them out. (Hence the term “lockout” and NOT “strike.”)
Can You Really Blame Them?
I had to ask the guy, “Can you really blame the players for not taking the owners up on their newly proposed CBA?” Once again as they did the last time, the owners cried poverty and asked the players to take major cuts. That’s after the players agreed to huge pay cuts and concessions just a few years ago during the last owner lockout.
I don’t get some fans. I hear them say things like “no player should be able to earn more than a million per year for the first five years.” (Someone actually said that.) Are we a communist nation? Are the U.S. and Canada not part of the free enterprise system? Aren’t we capitalists?
Here’s the big question! If it makes sense to limit what a player can make their first five years, should not the same be true for everyone in every job? Let’s limit carpenters and other tradesmen to $25,000 per year; lawyers and doctors to $40,000 per year and all others to $15,000 per year. Sounds fair to me! (NOT)
Fans who want to severely limit players from making the cash they should be making must get real. Hockey salaries, tickets prices and other fiscal aspects, like all else in the U.S., are dictated by what the market will bear. That’s all there is to it. Right now there’s a major disagreement between what the owners and players believe that number to be. I hope someone steps up to figure this one out soon. I’d love to watch a NHL game very soon!