Today the NHL announced they have cancelled all regular season games (82 total) through October 24th.
I wish there was more to say but there’s not. I saw Patrice Bergeron today at the Apple Store in Cambridge, he was trying to get an iPhone before he flew to Switzerland to start his season and it was a sobering thought. It’s hard to articulate adequate words to express my disappointment and frustration. If the owners think that fans will come back after this lockout because they came back after the last lockout they may be mistaken. Of course I will come back, and quickly, but this is completely different than last time. Last time fans understood the lockout was for the good of the game; This time its hard for us to see past the greed being portrayed by the owners.
The players are resolute, and rightfully so, to show the owners they can’t just get what they want by locking them out every five to ten years. The players rolled their salaries back 24% just 7 years ago now the Owners want them to roll back again after three different Owners (including Mario Lemieux) gave out 4 contracts this summer alone worth 98m or more. On top of that there was a laundry list of players that signed just two or three days before the CBA expired.
The team that signed the most players? The Boston Bruins. Boston signed Marchand, Seguin, and Lucic to contracts that come in at 4.5m, 5.75m, and 6m respectively. (Yes, you read that right Lucic is making more than Seguin) Why is this noteworthy? Jeremy Jacobs is leading the charge in this lockout, just as he did the last lockout. Not the Blue Jackets owner, not Blues owner, not the Stars owner but the owner of 2011 Stanley Cup champions the Boston Bruins. The owner of the team with the most expensive payroll in the NHL. Yet Jacobs cries poor to the players he just paid asking them to cut their salaries again seven short years later. It’s so hypocritical it makes me sick.
The NHL, a league that had recorded record profits last year of 3.3 billion (yes, billion with a b), are now officially canceling regular season games. That sentence makes my stomach hurt. If the owners continue their stubborn ways, which we have no reason to even remotely think they won’t, soon enough the players will take the salary cap off the table and there would be Armageddon. If that sequence of events happened there won’t be hockey until the 2014 Olympics. The NHL won’t even talk to the players association until they’re ready to ‘get with the program’ which means the NHL doesn’t want to talk until the players are willing to give up and come crawling back.
I know I have a tendency to get dramatic when something as meaningful as opening weekend is canceled. I expected this so why is it such a blow? We have been betrayed. I guess all that can be done is to try to stay patient as this process pans out, and hopefully they make it back sooner than later, somewhat like the NBA did last year. I don’t know what else to say, its a bad situation and it’s getting worse.
I feel better after getting this off my chest. I suggest you do the same below. Let us know how you feel.