Can We Kiss This Season Goodbye?

For those who haven't heard, the League broke off talks, today. Here are some quotes:

"Unfortunately, so far at least," (Donald) Fehr said, "that proposal we made today did not bear fruit."

"I think that today was clearly a setback," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly wrote in an email to The Associated Press. "It's going to be tough to get something done in time to open camps unless or until the union changes its position and indicated a willingness to move off of its current proposal, which it was clearly not prepared to do today."

Daly added: "Hopefully, the union and the players will re-evaluate where we are, and where they are willing to go in the coming days."

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman called revenue sharing "a distraction" and questioned whether the union made an actual counterproposal or a mere response to the league's presentation. "Basically, they stood by their initial deal," Bettman said. "They didn't make an offer. ... (They) weren't prepared to discuss core economics."

Notice that last one. Bettman is calling revenue sharing a distraction. Now, let me get this straight. According to the various sources, the NHL made $3.3 billion, last year, Yet, according to the league, player salaries are to blame for small market teams struggling and revenue sharing is a "distraction"?

Yet, MLB, the NFL and the NBA have revenue sharing and small market teams are capable of competing with large market teams. Add in that owners claim to want a limit of five years on all contracts, yet there have been free agents signed to contracts longer than five years, this summer, and I have to wonder what Bettman is really up to and after. Could it be that certain owners simply want to get rich and screw everyone else?

And what does the league think of us fans? They expect us to take another lockout and return to the arenas, Center Ice, etc. like a bunch of lemmings. Someone needs to tell Bettman and the owners putting forth their proposals that while they may not need the small market teams to survive, they damned sure do need small market teams to continue making the money they do make.

It's certainly looking like we can kiss this season goodbye. I say that, if the owners do impose a lockout, we fans should show them that we're sick of being treated poorly. I propose that all fans cancel their subscription to all pay tv channels carrying the NHL, completely boycott one week of games and refuse to buy any NHL merchandise at all for one season. The owners are forgetting one thing. Without us buying their product, they're screwed. It's past time that we remind them.

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