If you are one of the two listeners on AM 1570 WNST or WNST.net, you may have heard of a program called “The Weekend Warriors.” This is the show where Brett Dickinson, Dan Radov, John Sears and myself talk all things Baltimore sports from 9 to 11 each morning. We have a segment called ” Shout Out / Say What,” where we look at the best and worst sports stories from that week.
I’ve had a few people ask why we haven’t done a “Say What” on the NHL Lockout. Rather than using air time to discuss one of my passions, I would like to do a “Say What” to the NHL.
Say What: Gary Bettman and the rest of the NHL
Gary Bettman has been the NHL commissioner since February 1, 1993. His league has experienced three player lockouts under his reign. First, the 1994-95 season. Then, ten years later for the 2004-05 season. Currently, Bettman has locked out the players and it is the third decade in which he has done so.
Just so you know, today is Day 28 of the NHL Lockout.
There have been meetings here and there.
The sides aren’t getting any closer.
What is the main tipping point?
When the NHL and NHLPA met to discuss matters of the lockout on Oct. 11, they discussed issues like free agency, and drug testing. However, the main issue at hand is still money.
The NHL generates roughly $3.3 billion in revenues and the disbursement of this money remains the biggest dissension between both sides. Generally, in collective bargaining, as close to a 50-50 split between the players and owners is what is desired. Currently, the players are at 57 percent, the owners at 43 percent.
How can you run a business like that?
The owners have been discussing a 12 percent pay cut for the players.
That just isn’t going to happen.
No matter how much money you make, no matter your profession, that is a significant drop in pay.
All of this talk about money makes me cringe in that the real victims of the situation, the fans, have nothing they can do to appease the absence of the NHL.
Sure, there are other options as far as hockey goes.
ESPN aired a KHL game featuring Washington Capitals forward Alexander Ovechkin playing for Dynamo Moscow. Ovechkin tallied the only goal in their 1-0 victory over Lev.
The NBCSN had Friday Night College Hockey on last night with a double-header in the Icebreaker open. Notre Dame and the University of Maine were featured in the first game and the University of Nebraska-Omaha and Army were featured in the second game.
Honestly, I didn’t care that it was college hockey, hockey was on. These college kids were playing their hearts out. Hip checks were a plenty. Fairly clean play across the board. Goals were a plenty in the second game primarily on the UNO side. I wasn’t a huge fan of the hybrid icing rule as that is too much of a judgement call in my opinion and has also eliminated one of the most exciting plays in the game. When two players go chasing after a loose puck to either avoid icing or touch up for icing in their favor, those bang-bang plays are what make hockey a great sport. The great sport I most likely will only be able to watch on a limited basis.
That is the main reason I am upset.
With the NHL not playing any meaningful games any time soon, I will have to hope for a KHL game to air here and there and rely on college hockey to hold my fix.
Will these two options suffice?
It just isn’t the same. It doesn’t feel right not not only having my daily NHL fix via the NHL Network, Center Ice, CSN and the NBCSN.
I will continue to sulk and be upset until an agreement is reached, like the rest of the hockey fans that are being deprived of the sport they love and cherish.
I want to hear Joey B raving about another Ovechkin goal for the Capitals.
Can Braden Holtby put it together for a full season?
Will the Mike Ribeirio move make an impact on the Capitals this year?
Can Alexander Ovechkin rebound after a sub-par year by his standards?
We won’t be able to answer any of those previous questions if hockey isn’t being played anytime soon.
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