Monday, September 24, 2012

Right now, Gary Bettman is ALL hat, NO cattle!

Jimmy Devellano is going to be a little lighter in the wallet today, well OK, perhaps in reality it will be the Illitch's who will be a little lighter, having to dip into the Little Caesar's pizza tip jar to cover off  the $250,000 fine from Gary Bettman, who wasn't too thrilled with Devellano's latest contribution to management/union negotiations.

Devellano, the Senior Vice President of the Red Wings provided the helpful primer to Labour 101 NHL style over the weekend with his comparison to the players being but cattle on the ranch, allowed to come on up to the ranch house for a meal before heading back off to mend fences and such we guess.

His comments provided to the Victoria BC based Island Sports News (no doubt sending their website counter into overdrive over the weekend) provided for some wonderful turn of phrases that should help don't you think?

The Detroit News made sure that the talking points got a little wider distribution than the British Columiba based website, dedicated mostly to university and high school sports on Vancouver Island.

Among his helpful contributions:

"The owners can basically be viewed as the ranch, and the players, me included, are the cattle," Devellano said. "The owners own the ranch and allow the players to eat there. That's the way it's always been and that's the way it will be forever. And the owners simply aren't going to let a union push them around. It's not going to happen." 

And to help make sure the message was delivered he added:

 "Each owner/team has a decision as to how they want to pay their players, as long as they are under the cap. Now (NHLPA executive director) Donald Fehr would have you believe by getting rid of the cap, the owners would make more money and that the sky is the limit, but trust me ... the owners would lose their (behinds). We've tried that. It doesn't work. There is just too much cost involved in running and owning a team." 

Devellano seemingly was channelling his inner Leghorn Foghorn to the Island Sports News, effectively asking the players, "any of this getting through to you son"

It would seem that the Vice President is hearkening back to an era of labour negotiation from the days of Jack Adams, perhaps a golden age in the eyes of Devellano.

Kind of instructive as to the mindset of these negotiations at the moment, if such a term can be used for two sides that seemingly stare at the answering machine and dodge each others calls.

For the moment however, to rephrase Mr. Devellano if we may, with the dispersal of the NHL's cattle to the distant farms in Europe and beyond, the Commissioner it would seem is "ALL hat and NO cattle".

The Full Devellano can be found below.

Detroit Free Press-- NHL fines Red Wings for comments calling players 'cattle'
Detroit News-- Red Wings fined over comments by Jimmy Devellano
National Post-- NHL doing itself no favours in battle of Public Opinion
Globe and Mail-- Cattle crossing offers Gary Bettman a timely diversion from NHL lockout
Toronto Star-- Red Wings fined for exec's unauthorized comments

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