Saturday, September 22, 2012

It’s worse than I thought

     Welcome to Octopi the Ice! 

I know what you’re thinking… What a cheery uplifting title right? Believe me, it’s not what I had envisioned for my first post on my very own blog. I’m excited about this new blogging adventure and look forward to seeing where it goes. Writing is therapy for me, it’s how I organize my thoughts, analyze decisions and also how I vent and cope with life. Usually I keep my writings to myself, but in this difficult time to be a Hockey fan, I’m hoping that maybe my therapy can also be someone else’s. So make yourself at home, the furniture’s comfortable, the fridge is stocked, and it’s always an adventure. 

     I’ve been focused on being as positive as possible through the uncertainty of the summer, the retirement of Nick Lidstrom, the loss of Brad Stuart, not signing Suter, Parise, Semin etc… I’ve been coping with  the loss of the Prospects Tournament, the Training Camp that wasn’t and now the cancellation of pre-season games and the all but certain loss of who knows how much of the Hockey season. I’ve been largely successful, but it’s getting increasingly difficult and the Hockey withdrawal keeps finding new and interesting ways to mess with me.  If you asked me how long I though the lockout would last, up until a couple days ago I would have told you I thought we would have hockey be December, New Years at the latest. I wouldn’t have been completely sure if I whole heartedly believed that, or if it was what I told myself so I could sleep at night. Dishearteningly however, there has been quite a bit of information become public in the last few days, and it’s been like a slap in the face with a cold dead fish. 

     The realization that we very well may lose the whole season has become real for me and it makes me angry and sad. There have been a number of articles and tweets from credible sources recently that have lead me to this conclusion and have also made me realize that the whole lockout really and truly is about the money.  It’s not about Hockey, it’s not really about the players, it’s not even about what’s best for the league; and  the fans certainly have no place in the priorities of the NHL. No, this is about pure, selfish greed on both sides of the table. The NHL and owners are taking a purely business approach and they want what they want and will do whatever they think it takes to get what they want. Bettman and the owners are determined not to give in and I believe they will happily erase the whole 2012-2013 season without even so much as a blink or tiny nugget of remorse. They couldn’t care less about anything other than their billions of dollars increasing, and if Jimmy Devellano is an accurate representation of the owners, then I’d say we’re all screwed. Devellano expressed in very clear terms how the owners feel. I’ll let you read an excerpt for yourself. 

            "I'll make a suggestion Scott. Let the players take 43% and let the owners take 57%. Just reverse it from where it is now and let the owners run the rest of their business and manage their expenses. Now keep in mind this time around it's not just revenue sharing that is the issue. There are many, many more components at play here, from entry level contracts, years of service, insurance, etc. I mean a whole bucket load of disputes that are just as important for the owners to need to get a fair deal done."
          "Yes, they are billionaires. Good on them, they deserve it, but they also make their employees millionaires. Not a bad trade off for a guy like Lucic getting what, 6 million dollars a year? I mean good on him too, but he should be grateful. Understand though that these players want for nothing...its first class this, first class that, meal allowances, travel money on the road, the whole shebang. Offer sheets don't hurt the players one bit."
         "It's very complicated and way too much for the average Joe to understand, but having said that, I will tell you this: The owners can basically be viewed as the Ranch, and the players, and me included, are the cattle. The owners own the Ranch and allow the players to eat there. That's the way its always been and that the way it will be forever. And the owners simply aren't going to let a union push them around. It's not going to happen."

     This is very much a “We’re the boss, we’ll get what we want and everyone can kiss out ass” statement, and I for one am so glad there are such smart, wonderful, caring people to take care of this and explain it to us in such simple, easy to understand terms. After all, we’re just average Joes and this kind of thing is WAY too complicated for us mere mortal peons to understand.  For perhaps the first time in all this mess, I’m exceedingly scared for the future of Hockey. I’m scared that we really will lose the whole season, there will be no Winter Classic, no watching Pavel work his magic, none of the game we all love so much.

     I wish it was all about the love of the game and wanting the best for the players, fans and everyone involved, but this whole clusterfuck is business, politics, and a pissing match. And who’s getting pissed on? The fans, ushers, radio and TV announcers, camera crews, ice crews, concession workers, ticket sellers, restaurants and hotels in NHL cities, Hockey reporters, Hockey bloggers, my friends and family who have to put up with me through all this, and many more.     

     This is the lowest point for me in my relatively short Hockey career, and the best comfort I can find right now is knowing that I’m not alone in all of this. There are many of us who feel the exact same way, and even when words fail to describe the anger, frustration and disappointment, we can come together to support each other and get through this somehow. I’ve never been more appreciative of my Hockey family than now. You guys rock.

1 comment:

  1. FIRST!

    But seriously, you just need to proof read a bit better and clean up spelling/grammar. But I enjoyed it.