On Tuesday, Gary Bettman and the NHL owners offered the NHLPA a deal that seeming made sense: 50-50. Normally, when someone offers you half of something, you take it willingly with little to no argument. But, the NHL Players Associate saw the deal as a slight movement in negotiation. Half of anything seems like a great deal, but when players heavily outnumber owners, the numbers fail to add up. The players rightfully denied the offer, and everything continues to wait for a conclusion to the NHL lockout of 2012.
Here in Pittsburgh, players such as Sidney Crosby train and wait for the NHL season to begin. He and other players such as Matt Cooke and Pascal Dupuis skate informally in Pittsburgh, as Donald Fehr and Bettman discuss the possibility of a season this year in private meetings. The players created three counteroffers that owners rejected in mere minutes citing they came nowhere near 50-50. Both sides seem to be worse off than before in terms of negotiating. Shane Doan of the Coyotes mentioned that 50-50 still means significant salary loss by players.
Neither side seemingly wants to negotiate. Bettman made the offer public after a long hiatus from labor talks in order to let the media play out the owners' intentions. Fehr and the NHLPA took the offer as a stepping stone to a new proposal, but the NHL immediately rejected the proposed adjustments. Owners seem to want to use media power to dictate negotiations, because no consideration for counteroffers existed. On the other hand, many star players signed on to teams from other leagues around the world. Washington Capitals winger Alex Ovechkin likes the KHL better at this point. I believe the best players should rise to the occasion and stick around during negotiations, because they bring in the revenue for each team. Yes, I understand they want to play hockey, but player reps need support by the faces of franchises. Owners need to take the players seriously, and players need to show that they care.
Fans, the waiting continues for the NHL lockout to end. Bettman's statements after the last meeting alluded to the possibility of canceling the Winter Classic and season. Fans from other countries get to enjoy watching our players, while we sit and impatiently wait with no hockey to watch. Well, except when the joke of a channel ESPN 3 broadcasts KHL games. The NHL built an empire out of new fans with the Winter Classic and rule changes following last lockout. Now, the fans want to leave because the league alienated us. Make a season happen, or enjoy dark years with NO revenue.

Posted in Pittsburgh Penguins

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