FanDuel - WFBC

February 16, 2005

Closure.:

posted by DrJohnEvans to hockey at 12:26 PM - 127 comments

For now, anyway.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 12:27 PM on February 16

fuckers

posted by NoMich at 12:29 PM on February 16

The stupidity and greed is unbelievable. Does anyone think the NHL can recover without completely reshuffling (dropping 1/3-1/2 the teams) or while Bettman has anything to do with the league?

posted by kokaku at 12:30 PM on February 16

I'm still listening to Bettman on fan 590. He's really going out of his way to blame the Union. I'm sure the NHLPA will blame the owners at their conference at 4 this afternoon. I'd quit listening (in disgust), but I want to hear what Don Cherry has to say.

posted by Samsonov14 at 12:42 PM on February 16

Bettman criticizing 'arbitrary' numbers. High comedy folks. U gotta love it

posted by garfield at 12:46 PM on February 16

so, what's the deal with the draft?

posted by garfield at 12:46 PM on February 16

I succumbed to the instinct of disgust about halfway through the first question. I admire your tolerance for it, man.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 12:47 PM on February 16

Oh! Oh! And I loved his rationale for cost certainty: we don't want the owners to suffer if the economy slows down! Nooo! We live in a fantasy world with guaranteed profits!

posted by DrJohnEvans at 12:48 PM on February 16

I was hoping for something to happen, but it appears it was not meant to be. Those last minute offers now appear to have been nothing more than PR moves for both sides. Who the hell negotiates at the last minute via letters CC'd to major news agencies? They should've been huddled somewhere in secret hammering out numbers. Many years from now I imagine we'll find out this happened because Gary and Bob hate each other and just wanted to spite the other one. Both sides are idotic for not finding a way to make this work. The players will never get anything better, and the cost to the owners of a cancelled season (if not at least half of the next one) is far higher than a less than perfect cap. The owners in my mind are the biggest losers. I am surprised that there was no last minute revolt in the owners camp to accept the players offer (or at least make another counter offer). Ironically the two teams that lose the most from this (Calgary & Tampa) are the teams that could have really used it. On preview: Sportsnet mentioned there will be no 2005 draft, but I don't now how they are going to work out all the messy details.

posted by camcanuck at 12:49 PM on February 16

Poker now has more airtime on ESPN in the past year than hockey. And watching poker really, really sucks. Bad. Stupid greedy assholes.

posted by smithnyiu at 12:49 PM on February 16

Both Bettman and Goodenow should lose their jobs over this. Five months of lockout and the only serious negotiations began yesterday. Pathetic.

posted by rocket88 at 12:52 PM on February 16

Well, you know, they want cost certainty. And a lot of us fans are going to enjoy giving it to them. As in, certainty that they're not going to get any money from a whole hell of a lot of us for a very long time. If ever again.

posted by Pufferish at 12:53 PM on February 16

Gary Bettman is cordially invited to wear my ass as a Hallowe'en mask. I hope he dies alone.

posted by Succa at 12:53 PM on February 16

Bettman and Selig. Where do they get these guys?

posted by smithnyiu at 12:54 PM on February 16

Well, I guess I should get better acquainted with these guys: London Knights

  • 48-4-2 record
  • #1 in the CHL rankings
  • The best 2004-05 average attendance for any team in any hockey league in North America (pro or junior).
  • Hosting the Memorial Cup this year.

posted by grum@work at 12:59 PM on February 16

Looks like my Bruins jersey stays on the dartboard for at least another seven months. At least there's still NHL 2K5 for the X-box. Cherry didn't say anyhting very interesting. He was pretty calm, actually. He joked about becoming an NBA commentator a few times. Very, very sad.

posted by Samsonov14 at 01:00 PM on February 16

This has easily been my worst year for sports in recent memory. It starts with my beloved Maple Leafs making all the right moves at the NHL deadline last year, only to succumb in the 2nd round - a lot of hype for nothing. Now this - in the end, what - a matter of 5 or 6 million in the cap??? Just a travesty. The Jays then proceed to get all injured up and tank worse than the Devil Rays, just in time for the most fucked-up franchise around right now to tip off the season with a superstar who has admitted to dogging it - should be resoundly criticized for dogging it, but no, none of that happens and it all seems ok now since 'it was only Canada' and he's kicking ass again in New Jersey. Stupid Eric Neel. Excuse me but - FUCK, FUCK, FUCK, FUCK, FUCK. Oh well - I could live in Philly. It could be a lot worse.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 01:04 PM on February 16

From here: "Everybody has a different mentality so it's hard to bring everybody together. One of the things that I think took a lot of urgency out of this for the players is the fact that we had over 350 players playing in Europe." (Pierre) McGuire said if the players had stayed in North America, a deal may have been reached by now. I couldn't agree more. The reason that this wasn't resolved earlier is because each side had set aside huge amounts of money, and almost half the players went and got jobs elsewhere (which in my mind was wrong on number of levels anyway). The first thing that should happen in all the upper level guys should be kicked to the curb. Not just Bob & Gary but also guys like Ted Saskin & Bill Daily. They screwed up... big time. Replace them and start negotiating tomorrow.

posted by camcanuck at 01:05 PM on February 16

21,000 votes in on Yahoo.com on who's to blame and it's currently split thusly : Players 32% 7061 votes Owners 15% 3259 votes Both 53% 11432 votes Bettman and crew sort of getting away with it, perhaps because, in the end it came down to both sides apparently working on cap numbers and a few million dollars resulting in a cancelled season. I'm glad I'm spending this winter/spring in England, not Canada.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 01:08 PM on February 16

"...don't give up on the game. it's too good..." Ya, too good to be run by a schmuck like you, Gary.

posted by garfield at 01:09 PM on February 16

looking back at a fun 1.5 yrs

posted by garfield at 01:16 PM on February 16

A few days ago it was suggested on ESPN Radio that Gary Bettman was trying reshape and reduced the size of the NHL by forcing the cancellation of the season. Given that the players assented to a cap and came very close to the owners’ cap number and Bettman stood firm on a very low number anyway, I now believe that it was Bettman's plan all along to shut down the season.

posted by Bag Man at 01:18 PM on February 16

Interestingly, you can still buy tickets to this season's NHL games on Ticketmaster.com.

posted by werty at 01:19 PM on February 16

Ah, I take that back. Games are still listed but the actual seats are unavailable. (Thank goodness.) Interesting that the games were still "scheduled" in the NHL's mind.

posted by werty at 01:21 PM on February 16

Well, at least we don't have to listen to Ecklund anymore.

posted by Samsonov14 at 01:21 PM on February 16

Bettman is an idiot. So let's say he wins, and a year from now, the NHLPA caves in and there is an abbreviated 2005-2006 season with a hard cap of $42 million, with his magical "guaranteed profits for the owners" linkage. Let's see how low that cap drops the next year when Atlanta, Tampa, Florida, Nashville, Carolina, Anaheim, Pittsburgh, Washington and Phoenix are all within twenty bucks of declaring bankruptcy.

posted by fabulon7 at 01:25 PM on February 16

Oh, and does this mean there's actually a chance for Bobby Hull's WHA next year?

posted by fabulon7 at 01:25 PM on February 16

Eks comments are already down.

posted by garfield at 01:27 PM on February 16

What are the chances of dissolving a significant number of teams? I've read that this is probably something that the league could finance, so I imagine the hurdle would be the NHLPA?

posted by mullacc at 01:39 PM on February 16

Me sad. Fuck em all. Fuck em all. But most of all fuck me. Fuck me because I'll never be able to punish them for their greed. The fact is, when all this mess is sorted out, if this mess is sorted out, I'll still watch hockey. I'll still watch hockey, go to hockey, buy my tv package, participate in fantasy leagues, scour the morning paper for box-scores and recaps, buy the jersey of my favorite player and the hat for my favorite team. I'll still love hockey, even Gary Bettman-bastardized-crappy-hockey with it's glowing pucks, blaring music, painted ice, commercial breaks, clutching, grabbing, diving, left-wing locks, and shut-outs galore. I hate myself for it, but I know it's true. Why should I pretend? All-stars, third-liners, or AHL scabs... It won't matter, I'll watch any of them. Hell, who am I kidding? I would have watched these negotiations on pay-per-view given half the chance. And when it all comes around again, it may only be me and those like me in the stands or watching at home, but it won't matter to Gary. He'll have what he wants, a foolproof system where he and his cronies rake in my money... A fool's money. And there isn't a damn thing I can do about it, no matter how much I hate the bastards. I just wish they would figure out a way to let me give them my fucking money.

posted by 86 at 01:40 PM on February 16

garybettmansucks.com

posted by garfield at 01:41 PM on February 16

a little solace for today.

posted by garfield at 01:45 PM on February 16

Well, I would have been less mad over a 20+ game season and playoffs, but I still would have been angry at the lackadaisical negotiating and everything. I'm just more mad now. What needs to happen is Bettman: gone...Goodenow: gone...underlings: all gone...then maybe there would be some changes for the better. So it ends, I guess.

posted by chris2sy at 01:49 PM on February 16

A Bettman NHL will not contract, because expansion is his legacy. Which is a, if not the, major problem of the 'economics' dunderface likes ramble on about. But since actually fixing his mistakes isn't an option, he has to handicap the either FUCKING LEAGUE. Gary 'Dilution is the Solution' Bettman is slick and sly but he don't fool me. He's too proud to admit HIS mistakes, and its affecting me on a deep and personal level. And it goes without saying, I hate Gary 'My leisure time called, and it wants its hockey back' Bettman.

posted by garfield at 01:50 PM on February 16

List of NHL players in Europe.

posted by holden at 01:52 PM on February 16

Fuck me because....I'll still watch hockey. Well that's the rub now, isn't it? Just out of curiosity: doesn't blowing everything up and starting fresh, or having a WHA option, favour the players? I mean, there are a lot more rich people around than there are world-class hockey players. And if you don't really have U.S. network TV anyways......

posted by smithers at 01:55 PM on February 16

jerks. the only silver lining is that one day this may all make the NHL better. maybe. but they are jerks for doing nothing for so long and not even trying to get something done. jerks.

posted by gspm at 02:08 PM on February 16

I think the players are screwed up. Their union was so adamant about not accepting a cap, but they all played in Europe and independent minor leagues for less money. If they were willing to play in Europe or low paying minor leagues for less money, then why couldn't they take a cut in the NHL? I just don't get it. Also, to the Toronto fan, I think being a New York fan is the worst right now. Sure, some are probably wondering what drugs I'm on right now, but think about it. The Yankees choked in the playoffs to the most hated rival in all of professional sports, but also the Giants squandered a 5-3 start to finish 6-10. Then the Jets missed the field goals. The Mets always suck, and the Knicks just 1 month ago were in first place, and fell to the basement in the course of a week. And this is all in a city that is always used to being at or near the top of everything. It sucks, and is awkward as hell. If it were me, I would rather have my teams suck from start to finish rather than start off good and then collapse.

posted by nyfan at 02:18 PM on February 16

nyfan, the players offered to take a pay cut. What Bettman wanted was a complete reshaping of the league's economic order, mainly at a great disadvantage to the players. It's about money, obviously, but it's more about not getting your pants screwed right off than about the exact figure on the paycheque.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 02:25 PM on February 16

nyfan, players make individual decisions to play elsewhere, (even in leagues with caps) but the union represents the players as a collective body. They need to do things for the best interest of the current players, the past players, and future players. Accepting an agreement that puts a semi-permanent ceiling on the amount of money they can make does not jive with that mission. Putting their livelihood in the hands of imbeciles who have only proved they can ruin a sports league, does not jive with that mission.

posted by 86 at 02:28 PM on February 16

I'll watch it whenever it comes back, because it's in my blood, and I absolutely fucking hate myself for knowing that in advance, but you know, there aren't all that many people like me. And that group is not going to grow again for at least another decade, if ever. So like Philip Roth said: Goodbye, Columbus. And Phoenix. And Carolina. And Pittsburgh. And Nashville. And Bettman, and Goodenow, and (inshallah, may this happen) everyone who sat at a table at any of these negotiations. Dear Fuckfaces: Fuck all of you for pissing on a sport I have spent my entire life living and dying for, and all because you didn't want the other side to have a bigger piece of the pie. Fuck you. Now there's no pie at all. Fuck you for My Lai-ing a sport I have spent my whole life pounding the drum for. Fuck you for ignoring what few hardcore fans you have, and taking a sport that was knocking on the door of mainstream relevance and placing it somewhere behind Slamball or Battlebots on the North American Cultural Landscape. Fuck you all for pissing on something I grew up with and have always loved. Fuck you. Fuck you. And nyfan, everyone thinks they're the ones who have it worst.

posted by chicobangs at 02:30 PM on February 16

I'll never be able to punish them for their greed Well, that's an interesting point in the world of the Internet, isn't it? Jon Buchiaeegahdfssss was on 'EEI in Boston this afternoon (when they were assuming the season was going to get played) and he suggested fans should haggle over ticket prices. Now that we have a year to plan it, why not? Someone must care enough to provide the NHL with a reverse auction wherein they offer tickets and we specify how much we're willing to pay. Thinking about it, that's not a reverse auction, but you get the idea.

posted by yerfatma at 02:32 PM on February 16

If they were willing to play in Europe or low paying minor leagues for less money, then why couldn't they take a cut in the NHL The players did offer to take a large pay cut (24%). But the players are opposed to a salary cap. But with a salary cap, if team revenues go up, the owner sees that as pure profit and doesn't have to pay the players any more than the maximum cap amount. In theory, a cap allows small market teams like Tampa Bay and Calgary to compete with big market teams like New York (Rangers) and Chicago. But with the players willing to accept a cap and it appearing like both sides were reaching towards a compromise figure, wtf went was behind the League's decisiomaking? "We've already scheduled the press conference, we can't leave the journalists hanging to wait around for more negotiations, let's cancel the season"? But now the NHL is officially over as a "Big 4" league on par with the NFL, NBA or MLB and at best second rate. Well done!

posted by andrewraff at 02:39 PM on February 16

yerfatma, I'll sign up for whatever plan you have, but this crap gets talked about everytime there is a lock-out/strike and it never happens. Didn't Bettman write a letter to fans saying ticket prices would fall if the league got their way. Man, I'd love to hold that assclown to that. Of course, he's a lawyer so... For Gary, who wants salaries tied to revenues. Well revenues are tied to marketing, creativity, leadership, and about twelve other qualities the current NHL league office has shown itself incapable of providing. I'd pass on that offer as well. (Sorry I've been reading the owner-slanted ESPN chat with Bill Clement and I'm getting more angry by the minute).

posted by 86 at 02:46 PM on February 16

Side note: It's another year where the Leafs can't win the Stanley Cup. Another side note: It's another year where the Senators can't beat the Leafs in the playoffs. But now the NHL is officially over as a "Big 4" league on par with the NFL, NBA or MLB and at best second rate. Well done! It was interesting to see the cover of Sports Illustrated back in 1994 where it stated "Hot: NHL, Not: NBA" and gave reasons why the NHL might pass the NBA in the ranking of the "big 4". Naturally, the NHL killed all the momentum it built with the most watched Stanley Cup finals ever (NYR vs Van) and started the lockout. Now, after one of the most entertaining NHL playoffs ever (every round was great, and the finals were fantastic), they've killed the momentum. Again. And maybe for good...

posted by grum@work at 02:48 PM on February 16

this just blows. so, what are the chances that the women's world championship in april will get some airtime now that there will be no nhl games to broadcast?

posted by goddam at 02:51 PM on February 16

Happy 38th anniversary, grum!

posted by DrJohnEvans at 02:59 PM on February 16

Didn't Bettman write a letter to fans saying ticket prices would fall if the league got their way No idea, but that's a load of shit anyhow: ticket prices are not driven by player salaries. They are driven by demand for tickets.

posted by yerfatma at 03:01 PM on February 16

Seriously grum, good playoffs, a non-trap team finally wins, they just had the Olympics in the USA, they just had a World Cup. Sounds like the perfect time to cancel a season.

posted by fabulon7 at 03:03 PM on February 16

Here's the letter (PDF) and the Bettman "promise"... This is a situation that we hoped would not occur and, in fact, have been working very hard to avoid. I want you to know that I am committed to fixing the problems that face our League and to delivering an economic system that will bring you exciting, world-class NHL hockey at ticket prices you can afford.

posted by 86 at 03:14 PM on February 16

Fuck everyone directly associated with the negotiations, fuck the owners, and fuck the union...I don't feel sorry for them. I feel sorry for these guys: Mark Messier Mario Lemeiux Steve Yzerman Brett Hull Dave Andreychuk Chris Chelios Dominick Hasek Joe Nieuwendyk Gary Roberts Luc Robitaille Jeremy Roenick All of these guys are arguable future hall of famers...first ballot HHOFer's even...and every one of them faces the prospect of their careers being ended today. Not because of injury, or because they couldn't play, today, in the NHL any more. But because of a fucking labor dispute. Now, you might argue that a few of these guys should've retired already, but every one of them would be on the ice this season if there had been a season. Each one of them has left an indelible mark on the NHL and hockey history, and they all sure as hell deserved a better send-off than this. If there is a ring of Hell reserved for assholes that destroy everything in their path for the almighty dollar, I hope Bettman, Goodenow, and all their lackeys already have reservations...

posted by MeatSaber at 03:24 PM on February 16

yeah! think about those guys. this sucks. but then again, i haven't really watched hockey (save for three games of the finals this past year) since spring (well, summer, considering when the cup is awarded) of 2002. two years overseas only to return to the lockout, jerks.

posted by gspm at 03:37 PM on February 16

Let the count-down begin for the World Championships! What annoys me the most is not the lack of the NHL, but the fact that the Stanley Cup will not be awarded. They should loan that out to the AHL or CHL or Europe. Somewhere. Just don't let there be an empty gap on the Cup... let someone win it.

posted by mkn at 03:37 PM on February 16

And if they don't give out the Cup(*), they should leave a space, so people will see the one shiny spot on the cup and they'll know to never let this happen again.

posted by chicobangs at 03:44 PM on February 16

Mark Messier Mario Lemeiux Steve Yzerman Brett Hull Dave Andreychuk Chris Chelios Dominick Hasek Joe Nieuwendyk Gary Roberts Luc Robitaille Jeremy Roenick That's going to be one hell of a HOF voting process:

  • Mario's already in the HOF, so scratch him.
  • Yzerman, Messier and Hull are the clear top dogs and would be considered "inner circle" HOF. Two of the greatest team leaders (and point producers) ever, plus one of the best pure scorers in history.
  • Hasek, Chelios and Robitaille are the next tier, and make it in with no problems. Hasek probably would be considered "inner circle" as well, but not as clearly as the first three.
  • Nieuwendyk and Roenick would be hard pressed to make it in against this group. I could see them making it in on vote #2 or #3. That's my opinion, and it obviously differs from a hall that votes in Clark Gilles and other journeymen-level players.
  • Roberts and Andreychuk might make it in someday, but the hall wouldn't be lacking if they didn't. They might get sympathy votes for longevity (Andreychuk) and perseverance (Roberts), but I think someone like Pavel Bure has a better claim to the HOF than they do.
What annoys me the most is not the lack of the NHL, but the fact that the Stanley Cup will not be awarded. They should loan that out to the AHL or CHL or Europe. Somewhere. Just don't let there be an empty gap on the Cup... let someone win it. They should have a super-tournament where the champions of the AHL, ECHL, USHL, IHL (is it still around?) and Euro-leagues all compete for the Cup. Hell, throw in the CHL champion as well (though I don't like the idea of 16/17-yr old kids playing against the big boys).

posted by grum@work at 03:45 PM on February 16

Grum, Don't forget the NCAA... and no, the IHL folded a few years ago...

posted by MeatSaber at 03:51 PM on February 16

To NHL/PA, All you motherfuckers are gonna pay. You are the ones who are the ball-lickers. I'm gonna fuck your mothers while you watch and cry like little bitches. Once I get to Toronto/NYC and find those NHL/PA fucks who are ruining my hockey, I'm gonna make 'em eat my shit, then shit my shit, then eat their shit which is made of my shit that I made 'em eat. Then all you motherfuckers are next. Love, garfield. the fact that the Stanley Cup will not be awarded yeah, that's the real travesty. The one thing bigger than the NHL suffers because of the NHL's incompetence.

posted by garfield at 03:52 PM on February 16

Somebody needs to steal the Cup until mature adults are running the show. Hold it hostage in exchange for Bettman's dismissal (though the more bloodthirsty out there might hold out for public execution broadcast on TSN and commentated by Don Cherry).

posted by kokaku at 03:55 PM on February 16

Better than a blank spot: when this is over and done with, this should be engraved in the 2004-05 spot.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 03:59 PM on February 16

Does anyone know the details on how things would have worked if the owners got their idea of revenue-based pay to pass? Would players be going into each season with an undefined contract, given equity instead of a dollar amount? Would all contracts be 1 year? Would current contracts be voided? The more I think about it the dumber it sounds... they locked out the players and demanded that they basically play for commission - but not commission that they earned themselves, but the commission that the owners made by running their businesses properly... things the players have no control over whatsoever. I hear all this about how most of the small fry players in the NHL (including people I know) just want to play, but at least in this case, Goodenow was right not to let it happen. He still blows at negotiating though. If he was just ultimately going to cave he could have saved us a lot of trouble by coming to this salary cap conclusion 3 months ago - I'm sure that then they could have hammered out mutually acceptable numbers and scales based on that. I didn't miss hockey that much because I still get my fill of college and AHL action here, and because I rarely watch TV these days... so I didn't really consider this lockout that big a deal untill just the past few days. Now I'm extremely upset, and just in awe that so many people could be so fucking stupid as to ruin an entire sport like this.

posted by Bernreuther at 04:17 PM on February 16

garfield, why are the players more responsible than the owners? My real concern here is there's no incentive to start working on saving next season right now.

posted by yerfatma at 04:22 PM on February 16

I can only hope that when they return to play the fist game, the place will be empty. But I know someone will be there, and these arrogant fucks know it too. Fuck them all.

posted by volfire at 04:31 PM on February 16

It has been said before, but as long as the best players have someplace else they can play, they have no incentive to make this work. Time to fold up the current league and start anew.

posted by Joey Michaels at 04:57 PM on February 16

yerfatma, maybe i wasn't clear, but im usually anti-Bettman, and the quasi-quote tries to lay equal blame. but who knows, im quite irrational this afternoon. I would say the players are far less responsible for this Lockout and subsequent cancellation of the season by the League. Both have played a part, but the mess that needs fixing is the owner's fault. Period. Expansion is at the root of the problem. It diluted the NHL. Almost every aspect of it. The 'solution' (handicapping/limiting the entire league 'to ensure the survival of all 30 teams') to the mess (economic disaster) merely puts a band-aid beside a gaping wound. Sustaining franchises in fringe markets at the expense of hard-core hockey cities does what? It keeps a team where most people could care less if it was there or not. Brilliant strategy Gary. Now if you take a look at the definition of 'commissioner' - An official selected by an athletic association or league to exercise administrative or regulatory powers over it' - there is an expectation that exercising said powers would be for the benefit of the league as a whole, and not just the owners. In this respect, Gary Bettman is a complete failure. Rather than complaining about revenues, and developing a plan to sustain the unsustainable, a real commissioner would've taken a long look at the state of the NHL, and realized, a.) maybe expansion was a bad idea. However this would not be entertained by the Bettman I know. b.) what needs to be done to fortify the league strengths (fan bases, rivalries, history, etc). c.) some other stuff, but I'm hungry and want to go home. Seeing as cancelling the season was Bettman's obvious end game from the start (obvious, considering how the league bargained) a true and honest evaluation of the league's state was not undertaken. And now, we all have to suffer. I could probably could continue to ramble in an unorganized fashion on this topic until 'Lost' comes on. but like I said, I'm hungry and I want to go home. and the lack of incentive to re-start negotiations is what gives me the willies. But I have yet to allow such a horrific reality to enter my sheltered world. Just not yet. I can't even think of what comes next because what has transpired is so disappointing.

posted by garfield at 05:06 PM on February 16

....and don't get me started on specific economic disasters, such as the New York Rangers. oh yeah, here is what the NHLPA had to say.

posted by garfield at 05:15 PM on February 16

Hey, remember when the NHL said they were rebranding and gonna redo their logo? Yeah, we probably have a few ideas to provide.

posted by gspm at 05:39 PM on February 16

Eklund's lies will continue Yes, even though he's proven to be a total fraud, and the players NEVER intended to settle this dispute, Eklund will continue to pretend that he's a "hockey insider" and post bogus rumors on his site. A sad day for the Internet indeed. posted by JackHuard at 2:33 PM From Ecklund's Website. It's been completely out of his control all day. Kinda fun to watch.

posted by Samsonov14 at 05:57 PM on February 16

Oh,come on,people! It's HOCKEY for chrissakes! Nobody south of Michigan gives two shits about Hockey!Dudes with sticks skating around trying to slap a frozen skoal can into a net defended by Jason Vorhees.As proof that most people could care less,aren't TV ratings for the NHL about the same as for the WNBA? For you guys who follow the sport,I feel for you,no shit...but for those of us who dont..Canceled season?...B.F.D.

posted by Elwood Blues at 10:12 PM on February 16

trying to slap a frozen skoal can into a net defended by Jason Vorhees. You're a brave man, Elwood.

posted by dusted at 10:31 PM on February 16

Oh, don't bother with him. It's ELWOOD BLUES for chrissakes!

posted by DrJohnEvans at 11:39 PM on February 16

"...don't give up on the game. it's too good..." We haven't given up on the game, Mr. Buttman. We have given up on you...the NHLPA...your league and its owners. We love the game.

posted by stofer71 at 11:45 PM on February 16

WHO CARES!!!!!! Im from Detroit...so-called HOCKEYTOWN. Hockey is dead here and in the rest of the U.S. Its a 2nd tier sport. Get over it America. Let Canada cry about it. I hope the sport dies.

posted by CyrGuy at 12:28 AM on February 17

Its not a second tier sport in Minnesota...perhaps you've heard of Minnesota...as seen in the movie Fargo? Its a real place with hockey and everything, just no NHL this year...like when the North Stars left...less octopi than Detroit though (less Cup victories too).

posted by chris2sy at 01:29 AM on February 17

WHO CARES!!!!!! Im from Detroit...so-called HOCKEYTOWN. Hockey is dead here and in the rest of the U.S. Its a 2nd tier sport. Get over it America. Let Canada cry about it. I hope the sport dies. Then why bother even posting? Me thinks thou dost protest too much. In fact, I'm sure you love hockey and are just as bitter as the rest of us. HA! You love hockey! Boy what a loser that must make you. Oh wait, in Canada we spell it louseur - crazy, but appropriate.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 06:25 AM on February 17

wow, i didn't think the cancellation of the season would bring out idiot trolls. the fall out has begun.

posted by garfield at 08:24 AM on February 17

since the NHL is no guardian of the game, perhaps the hockey world needs to take a hint from the footie universe, step up, and create a FIFA-like organization. And with N.A. players overseas, and the cultural exchange reversed, i can't think of a more opportune time to get started.

posted by garfield at 08:59 AM on February 17

i blame the red sox. last time the cup was cancelled was 1919, the year after they won their previous world series. coincidence?

posted by goddam at 09:17 AM on February 17

I was thinking the same thing. Seems like a good trade this time. Last time it cost Montreal Joe Hall. ESPN said 1919 last night, but wouldn't it have been the 1918 season, since Hall died of the Spanish Flu?

posted by yerfatma at 10:42 AM on February 17

.

posted by mbd1 at 11:32 AM on February 17

The more I think about it the dumber it sounds... they locked out the players and demanded that they basically play for commission - but not commission that they earned themselves, but the commission that the owners made by running their businesses properly... things the players have no control over whatsoever. I hear all this about how most of the small fry players in the NHL (including people I know) just want to play, but at least in this case, Goodenow was right not to let it happen. The players are the most to blame. The cap was going to be higher than at least 25 teams payrolls, and with a roll back of salaries likely higher than every teams payroll. I hope they enjoy that most people don't miss hockey and that they can now play for the Idaho Steelheads for $400/week. Stupid.

posted by Meathooks at 11:36 AM on February 17

I think there will be changes to the professional game when they return next year. This is a turning point for the NHL. Teams may be lost. Changes might include a shorter season to highlight games, smaller goalie pad sizes, shootouts! no more tie games and fights get a 2 game suspension instead of a 5 minute penalty.

posted by rxreed at 11:46 AM on February 17

For the record, I hate shootouts.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 11:53 AM on February 17

"The players are the most to blame. The cap was going to be higher than at least 25 teams payrolls, and with a roll back of salaries likely higher than every teams payroll." HUH?

posted by garfield at 11:56 AM on February 17

garfield, what are you "huh"ing?

posted by Meathooks at 12:11 PM on February 17

i fail to see the logic of your argument. and it is inaccurate.

posted by garfield at 12:14 PM on February 17

since the NHL is no guardian of the game, perhaps the hockey world needs to take a hint from the footie universe, step up, and create a FIFA-like organization. And with N.A. players overseas, and the cultural exchange reversed, i can't think of a more opportune time to get started. I'm all for it as long as we get relegation/promotion. Actually, I'm all for anything that has relegation/promotion in it.

posted by blarp at 12:19 PM on February 17

Actually, I'm all for anything that has relegation/promotion in it. Don't make me relegate you to the locker room!

posted by grum@work at 12:35 PM on February 17

i'd rather see 3pts for a win, 1 for a tie than shootouts. i think the Meathook point is that the players got an offer that would leave lots of room for salaries to go up on most teams given that most teams were nowhere near the final cap number the owners proposed. and the players turned it down because they liked their number better.

posted by gspm at 12:36 PM on February 17

well, 25 teams would have been under that cap, he is right about that. But the players are not the most to blame, that's absurd. The players made every single concession in the negotiations untill the very end when the owners removed the linkage stuff. And I suspect that the players were more than willing to meet the NHL halfway at 45 if the NHL had made any effort to respond at all.

posted by Bernreuther at 12:47 PM on February 17

What the hell is wrong with ties? A five minute sudden death with both teams already having a point is concession enough to must-win nature. God damnit, leave the ties alone - I like them!

posted by Mr Bismarck at 01:11 PM on February 17

i agree. that is accurate. the roll back would've left some teams still above the cap. and its the league that is pushing the agenda of a 30 team NHL. A 25 team NHL is moot. at least until Bettman gets shit canned...

posted by garfield at 01:16 PM on February 17

Thanks GSPM, that was my point. OK, maybe one or two teams would've been above the cap, pretty immaterial, you could grandfather them for one season at the number they were at if you wanted. But to make the NHL interesting you need to go back to about 22/23 teams like in the early 90s. At most, 2 teams in California and one team in Florida. Goodbye Atlanta, Caolina, Florida, Nashville, Anaheim, Phoenix, Columbus. I want the Adams Divison, Patrick Division, Norris Division Smythe Division, like the good old days when the NHL was on equal footing with the NBA. I believe you have to make a few rule changes (get rid of center ice stripe, etc) but the game is good and just needs to be in cities that care so they are not subsidizing places that dont.

posted by Meathooks at 01:29 PM on February 17

ok hooks, i hear ya.

posted by garfield at 01:35 PM on February 17

ok hooks, i hear ya re: the cap number. still don't see how its more the players fault though. the owners made the concession leaving no time to really negotiate. another PR move. but whatever.. I think the folks of Columbus might have something to say about that. Of the expansion franchises, the BJs are right along side the Wild for fan excitement and support.

posted by garfield at 01:39 PM on February 17

So should the NHL go back to Quebec, Hartford, Winnipeg, etc...like what happened here in Minnesota with the Stars leaving then getting the Wild here, its sold out regularly prior to this as far as I know, or do those teams cease to exist with a decrease in the number of teams?

posted by chris2sy at 01:43 PM on February 17

garf: yeah, i read Goodenow's statement and based on the things reported in the mainstream media over the last few months I have to heartily agree with his point that the NHLPA was the pretty much the only one making concessions until this past weekend. and by then it was so late that the owner's concession had a "PR move" factor to it.

posted by gspm at 01:44 PM on February 17

No, it is the current teams les the 7 or 8 teams I mentioned above.

posted by Meathooks at 01:44 PM on February 17

Should they? Definitely Winnipeg. Quebec if it could pay the bills. Not sure if Hartford wants a team. Will they? Under current leadership, no.

posted by garfield at 01:47 PM on February 17

gspm, i know man. that's what has been driving me batty for months. And what really turns my crank is that the majority of fans blame the players. No doubt the League blew the socks of the union in the PR battle. But I had hoped savvy fans would be able to see through this ruse. Most disheartening is the opinion polls back up home. Most canadians blame the players. I just can't explain it. apart from most fans just buying the league's story fed to them via the MSM.

posted by garfield at 01:51 PM on February 17

How could they cancel the season already? I thought Hockey started in June. ;) But I had hoped savvy fans would be able to see through this ruse. The NHL didn't need saavy fans, they needed fringe fans, casual fans. This was the problem (other than salaries/spending) before the lockout. This is why they had a TV contract with what 5 games on at random times. The way it was going the NHL would have to start paying for airtime soon. Whose to blame? Owners are to blame for spending themselves into trouble. Players are to blame for refusing (until WAYYYY too late) to give in on salaries while simultaneoulsy playing for relative (even under the owner's cap) peanuts in various other leagues. All sides are to blame for not even thinking about negotiating until training camps were to open, and then not even talking for months on end. Everyone involved is culpable. Goodenow and Bettman are the same damn guy, just on opposite sides of the fence. The NHL was in serious trouble without the labor strife and lockout. Now it is dead. Get rid of/keep ties? Open up the ice? Get rid of the traps and holds? Contract teams? All moot at this point without a league. Have fun in Lower Slobovia and East Freedonia fellas, it's your full time gig now.

posted by pivo at 01:59 PM on February 17

pivo, did that feel good? did you enjoy yourself? i'd correct you on several points, but you don't really care about the sport.

posted by garfield at 02:13 PM on February 17

Not sure if Hartford wants a team. I'm pretty sure the fan base is still there, the Hartford Courant still covers them remotely as the Hurricanes. If they brought the Whale back to hockey, I'd come back as well...but this clearly isn't about the fans or what's right.

posted by YukonGold at 02:33 PM on February 17

the Hartford Courant still covers them remotely as the Hurricanes. that's cool. i'd never heard of that.

posted by garfield at 02:55 PM on February 17

garfield, what the fuck? Did I enjoy myself? I didn't even think it came off as a rant. Contrary to what you may believe, you are not the one true hockey fan or arbiter of all things hockey (though I will concede you may very well be President and Founder of the Bettman is Satan Club). I stated my opinion on the situation which had been done 99 times previously. Just because you don't agree doesn't make it a rant or even wrong. If you feel you must, by all means correct away. Though I will say the only arguable point is whether or not the league survives this. I honestly don't see how it can. As I mentioned, the league needed casual fans by the boatload and this is the kind of thing that really will keep them away in droves. Baseball had a much larger core fanbase and many more casual and fringe fans when they went on strike and look what it did to them. The NHL started on tenuos ground and went downhill with the labor strife. So tell me how they can bounce back, I would really like to hear.

posted by pivo at 03:02 PM on February 17

I will concede you may very well be President and Founder of the Bettman is Satan Club Bettman is Satan...now I'm really confused.

posted by chris2sy at 03:10 PM on February 17

I like his ESPN database player id number.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 03:40 PM on February 17

How could they cancel the season already? I thought Hockey started in June. ;) Not a fan already. Just pouring salt in a wound. Not being a fan is fine, but be ready for the blowback. But I had hoped savvy fans would be able to see through this ruse.The NHL didn't need saavy fans, they needed fringe fans, casual fans. This was the problem (other than salaries/spending) before the lockout. This is why they had a TV contract with what 5 games on at random times. The way it was going the NHL would have to start paying for airtime soon. Your point didn’t need reference to my words at all. I was talking about understanding PR initiative, not filling seats Whose to blame? Owners are to blame for spending themselves into trouble. +1 Players are to blame for refusing -3 – players made concessions in December. It was the owners who refused to give in- (until WAYYYY too late) to give in on salaries -1 which was a give and take after linkage was dropped this week- while simultaneoulsy playing for relative (even under the owner's cap) peanuts in various other leagues. +1/-1 not good for the league, but good for hockey- All sides are to blame for not even thinking about negotiating until training camps were to open - 2 – a new CBA and the relative posturing has been in the works since 1998- , and then not even talking for months on end – you got this part right. Everyone involved is culpable. Goodenow and Bettman are the same damn guy, just on opposite sides of the fence – 0 - one tried to resolve the impasse, the other pushed for the impasse-. The NHL was in serious trouble without the labor strife and lockout. Now it is dead. Get rid of/keep ties? Open up the ice? Get rid of the traps and holds? Contract teams? All moot at this point without a league. +3 –True, but there is comfort in hope for the future. - Have fun in Lower Slobovia and East Freedonia fellas, it's your full time gig now. -50 for flippant attitude I'm not an arbiter of all things hockey, I'm just slightly more informed.

posted by garfield at 03:42 PM on February 17

posted by Meathooks at 04:30 PM on February 17

Garf, you've got to chill the fuck out. Pivo's just stating an opinion that's been stated a hundred times before, and not just by "casual fans" or the "uninformed". Have a look around, and you'll find plenty of sportswriters and commentators who share his view. No need to jump down his throat. I could just as easily rate your statements above and have you come out with a negative score. Personally, I think both sides share the blame for this colossal fuckup. We're not all going to share the same point of view on this one. Let's not be dicks about it.

posted by Samsonov14 at 04:50 PM on February 17

DrJohn - see also Yahoo and CNNSI. It is not an accident. Oh, coder humour!

posted by gspm at 05:04 PM on February 17

That's all well and good, but I blame you Sammy. Count me in as a vote for a return to Adams, Patrick, Norris, Smythe. If you're going to make things "fan friendly" like that, shouldn't the Stanley Cup become The Championship Trophy?

posted by yerfatma at 05:06 PM on February 17

I know Yahoo!'s coders pay tribute to Gretzky and Lemieux (and a few others—I'd look 'em up, but Yahoo! is blocked at work). The Satan thing is cute though.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 05:07 PM on February 17

I concur with this view... http://www.boston.com/sports/hockey/articles/2005/02/17/ice_breakers/

posted by Meathooks at 05:11 PM on February 17

sammy, I'd like you to point out where I'm wrong. I highly doubt an honest and accurate assessment would come out negatively for me. but you're right. i should chill. a year plus of pouring over editorials and any bit of news has compiled alot of frustration. fukitol - when the NHL pisses in your cornflakes pivo, my sincere apologies. i got too emotionally invested in this thing. meathooks, you too, man. garfield, out.

posted by garfield at 05:15 PM on February 17

I concur with this view Wow, that's a pretty biased and propaganda-driven view... it uses all the owners BS numbers about money and ignores the fact that from the very beginning untill 2 days ago, the owners wanted to tie player salaries, which THEY SET THEMSELVES, to league revenues, which the players do not control even one iota. This is absolutely fucking ridiculous. Yes, I agree that 42.5 was not that bad a number and that Goodenow is an idiot, but none of those numbers that the owners throw around mean a damn thing - having a higher cap isn't forcing them to commit more money. They don't have to spend it if they don't want to. Of course, they didn't have to before either, and they did. Now they want to punish the players to save their own asses because of their idiotic decision making. That entire article made me laugh because it may as well have been written by an owner. Completely biased and uninformed.

posted by Bernreuther at 06:37 PM on February 17

You think an article written by an owner would be uninformed? I completely disagree - biased maybe, but certainly more informed than you or I.

posted by Meathooks at 06:56 PM on February 17

Fuck the NHL/PA

posted by nhlpasucks at 08:15 PM on February 17

see also Yahoo and CNNSI. It is not an accident. Oh, coder humour! so if Tom Fitzgerald is #667 on all three (ESPN, Yahoo, and CNNSI) does that mean he is the almost Satan... And I hope the NHLPA and the Owners both get a Willie Plett style beating for this...(or if you prefer Wendell Clark...)

posted by chris2sy at 08:41 PM on February 17

NHLPAsucks, linking to your own screed elsewhere without responding to a long discussion where most of your points have already been made is so useful. And interesting, great first post on our little site. So here's my response: Fuck the NHL Owners and their idiot asskissers

posted by billsaysthis at 08:51 PM on February 17

The logo for the National Hockey League Fans Union

posted by MeatSaber at 08:55 PM on February 17

Me, I thought this Mercury News piece was good. Fits with my opinion, anyway.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 11:52 PM on February 17

MeatSaber, I have to admit I stopped reading your linked article at the words "Kevin Paul Dupont". KPD lost interest in hockey somewhere between Cam Neely's retirement and the last labor upset. He seems to just shill for the owners nowadays in between talking about how the game isn't as good as it used to be. Which might be true, but his implication is that it never can be the game of Orr, Sanderson and Cheevers again. Which it can't: they're wicked old. But that doesn't mean it's not worth watching.

posted by yerfatma at 06:32 AM on February 18

Actually, Fatty, while I often don't agree with KPD, he's surprisingly in tune with regular Bruins fans like you and I. He posts on the Hockey's Future Bruins Board as HubofHockey, and he's not above taking advice or criticism from his readers. In fact, much of the board was openly hostile to him when he first joined, but he's since weathered the storm and I've gained a lot of respect for him as a result. It would be great if all sportswriters were in open commmunication with his/her readers. I think he's become a lot more readbale as a result. Also, KPD somehow won Massachusetts sportswriter of the year for 2004. I don't know how he swung that one, though.

posted by Samsonov14 at 09:26 AM on February 18

The Front Pages. For anybody still around.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 01:35 PM on February 18

Cuban's absurd post

posted by billsaysthis at 01:39 PM on February 18

The Front Pages. For anybody still around. The two "Done" front pages are my favourite ones, though I do like the upbeat Globe & Mail one too.

posted by grum@work at 01:45 PM on February 18

Yeah, Cuban's post is ridiculous, and I liked your comment: Gee, I am so shocked that a sports franchise owner would blame players for the NHL mess! I'm almost speechless! But not quite so I'll tell you Mark, that you ought to consider your natural bias before making posts like this one. Why not come over to SportsFilter (http://www.sportsfilter.com) and respond to our discussion? And the guy digging him about paying Calvin Booth is CLASSIC!

posted by dusted at 02:16 PM on February 18

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