NHL Lockout over?

There are rumours that the NHL lockout may be close to over – that the owners and players are close to reaching a deal, possibly as early as this week. I’ll believe it when I see it, but I guess that’s good news. Good to see they’re finally taking my advice. I said months ago that (at least) two things would have to happen before any kind of deal gets done.

First, the two sides have to meet regularly for significant periods of time – none of this “we met for 3 hours on Tuesday, and we’re meeting again for another 3 hours in two weeks” crap. It has to be at least a few times a week, every week. If they need a day or two to converse with their constituents or whatever, fine, that makes sense, but as long as the lockout continues, negotiating the new CBA should be a full-time job for both sides. They had a couple of marathon sessions (14-16 hours each) a couple of weeks ago, and I don’t think that would have happened if they were still at the “We must have a cap” / “We refuse to have a cap” stage. They must really be talking.

Second, both sides need to, pardon my French, shut the fuck up with regards to the press. When the press conferences after the meetings are longer than the meetings themselves, that’s not good. The press does not need to know the details of every meeting, every proposal, every counterproposal, etc. Just get in the room, shut the doors, and don’t say anything to the press until the deal is done. This seems to have started once the season was cancelled – the entire press release after a meeting was “We had a good meeting, and we’re meeting again tomorrow”. That’s it. Now, maybe that’s because once the season was officially cancelled, people lost interest in the negotiations, but regardless, the information coming out of the negitiations is way less than it was before the cancellation, and I think that’s a good thing. Ignore the press, get a deal done, and then let the press analyze the hell out of it.

I heard a bit of an interview this morning with Bryan McCabe, the Leafs’ player rep, who said that the players may have to accept less than what they were offered in February. Boy, would that be too bad. Sorry Bryan, but the lowest paid player in the NHL makes significantly more than I do, and I make pretty good money. I find it very hard to feel sorry for the players when they’re talking about how to divvy up that many millions of dollars. The owners are obviously millionaires as well, but they all had to pony up a significant amount of money to buy the team in the first place, and none of them became a millionaire through owning an NHL team. They are all business people, who have taken a considerable risk with this investment. The players are getting paid mega-bucks to play a game.

Anyway, on a lighter note, a big Happy Birthday to my little munchkin! My son Nicholas turns 3 today. We bought him a scooter and a little T-ball thing that can also toss balls into the air, for batting practice. I’m looking forward to trying it out (with Nicholas!) in the backyard. Busy week though – we may not have a chance. Ryan starts soccer tonight, I have baseball tomorrow night, I have my first of four guitar lessons on Thursday night, and then we head up to Sundridge on Friday to help Gail’s dad move into his new place.


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