Friday, September 10, 2004

Apocalypse on its way

With the expiration of the CBA less than a week away, the owners and players seem primed for an ugly labor war that could result in the loss of the 2004-05 season. It would be the first time that any of the four major North American sports leagues lost an entire season due to a labor dispute.
EJ Hradek's latest update on the NHL labor "negotiations" (if you can really call them that) is less than encouraging. With less than a week to go until the CBA expires on the 15th, both sides appear to be at an impasse. I've never made a secret in this fight that I happen to side with ownership in this case (in general, I side with labor unions...but...I have zero sympathy for unions of rich people who play a game for a living), shouldn't surprise anyone that I find the NHLPA's latest "proposal" to be just what the NHL says it is - a step backwards. The players seem completely lost to reality, which is that the sport is in danger unless salaries are brought into line with revenues (NHL players are paid, as a percentage of total league revenue, far more than their counterparts in any other North American sports league).

Personally speaking, I'm more or less resigned to having no hockey this year. I find it upsetting, but...there isn't much I can do about it. I've known this was coming for a long, long time. When the Caps season turned into a firesale/fiasco last year, I knew that it was possible that I wouldn't be back inside the MCI Center for a long, long time. And to be honest, the labor stoppage coming has made it difficult for me to find any enthusiasim for the World Cup at all.

It seems a great shame that it is coming down to this, but...I can only control the things I can actually control, after all.


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