Get your hockey fix in your local arena

We all awoke to the announcement that another hockey strike was happening. The owners are locking out the players.
One might think that in hard times, the owners might have been tightening the reins on their own personal spending for hockey players. But recent announcements in the hockey-signing world seem to indicate that the owners still haven’t closed their wallets.
I don’t know in good faith how you can sign a contract at 6 p.m. on Sept. 15th in good faith and then stand back and say to a player six hours later, “By the way, because there is a lockout, we don’t have to pay you what we just agreed to.”
Even in poor markets like Phoenix, which last millions for the league in the past several seasons, the owners found $21.2 million for Shane Doan over the next for years.
Evander Kane from Winnipeg inked a deal for $31.5 million over the next six years. Tyler Seguin inked a deal for $34.5 million over six years while Jordon Eberle found that Edmonton was willing to pay him $36 million over the next six years.
By midnight Saturday, teams had spent over $200 million on that day alone signing players to new contracts.
The teams of the league can’t really be claiming poverty.
Now it is understandable that the owners want to change their share going from receiving 43 percent of gross revenues to 51 percent growing to 57 percent overt the life of the contract.
The league wants the players to drop to 49 percent of revenues this year decreasing another six percent over the life of the contract.
The players had offered to reduce their share of revenues to 50 percent and the league would use the money that the players did not receive to assist troubled franchises. Other offers have been tabled.
In the last lockout, the league claimed poverty and yet since the lockout total revenue has grown by $1 billion.
The numbers are mind-boggling.
Yet the owners just can’t seem to say “no” to hockey players.
But collectively they can voice solidarity, claiming it is in the league’s best interests that players are paid less.
One might expect that in this year’s negotiations the owners might have been less generous. Apparently not. But they want to have rollbacks on the contracts they have just signed.
To me, it sounds like bait and switch.
If the lockout goes for a year like the last strike, it will be the responsibility of every fan to turn in their season tickets.
Fans should already be demanding their money back from this season.
The league owners must be chuckling knowing that they already have money in the bank from all the tickets sold.
Perhaps writing out hundreds of thousands of cheques to individuals and corporation in the next 15 days might bring some reason to this strike.
In the last strike, over 400 players found their way to Europe to play hockey. More should travel to Europe this year.
I hope that with the strike, those needing a daily television hockey fix, will find it in the arenas across the district. All those younger players need support and praise.
I don’t follow the NHL. I cheer for Canada’s Olympic hockey teams. And come the loss of next spring’s Stanley Cup playoffs, I won’t miss the interruption of normal television programming.

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