Well it must have been hard to deliver the news today Mr. Bettman, such hard work all for naught. Your guys really burned the midnight oil, made some generous offers and certainly explored all options to solve this terrible impasse. The average hockey fan must really feel that you are on their side today.
Likewise Mr. Goodenow, you and your player rep partners sure knuckled down to the task at hand, as each month went by I'm sure you all sat and pondered what was best for the game and for the fan. I can only imagine your disappointment in how things have turned out. Hockey fans no doubt also feel that you are holding a torch for us as we ponder our fates in our hockeyless world.
Oh, the hell with this. Who am I kidding anyways! The least important aspect of the developments today was the fan.
Give me a break, both sides of this incredibly stupid display of greed and self interest deserve whatever fate will befall them. There's something particularly sickening about billionaires and millionaires, unable to simply cut up a pie of millions of dollars so all could find common ground.
The dour expression on the faces of Mr. Bettman and Mr. Goodenow looked good on TV, but it didn't seem particularly sincere guys. The NHL announcement, followed by the NHLPA rebuttal more than testified to the lack of trust that has taken hold of the agenda. We get the feeling that you both are where you want to be, some kind of grudge match til the bitter end, regardless of the cost. One side ready to crush it's players, the other ready to bring the owners to their knees.
Our poster boys for incompetence can sit around their offices til the cows come home as far as we are concerned. You have fouled the nest guys, neither side has our respect, nor our admiration, if your lucky in six months time you may actually cross our minds. Hopefully in one of those "whatever happened to......" moments.
The game will always be The game in Canada, it is not the domain of the overpaid, pampered athlete, nor the playpen for the corporate greedmeisters that seem to prevail in much of industry today. Wherever there is a rink, a clock and a sheet of ice there will be a game played. It may not be the product put forth by the NHL, but then again that product has suddenly become a rather tainted offering of late.
Instead there will be the pure chase of the sport, whether it's a junior match, a senior game, pee wee tournament, other forms of minor hockey, University match up or beer league rec offering, somewhere tonight there's a game happening in your home town. It's there without the baggage, without the greed and without the self serving grandstanding. Just 60 minutes on a fresh sheet of ice for the love of the game. What a concept!
The NHL and it's opposites in the NHLPA can now retire to their neutral corners and stay there for the eight count, don't expect us back anytime soon. We'll return when you have earned our trust, our respect and most importantly the right to ask us for our money.
For Gary and Bob here's a bit of news that you probably never factored into those intense discussions of the last week or so. While you were busy trying to figure out what was best for you, you left out a very important part of your equation, what's best for us the fan. Stand advised we'll now take our time deciding if whatever you both eventually cook up will be worth our support. Because without us, you guys are nothing.
The last time a Stanley Cup went without being awarded was during the great Spanish flu epidemic of 1919, this time it's the fans who are sick!
Five months wasted guys, five months wasted. You both have now stepped to the abyss and apparently decided to jump! Thanks for nothing!