With the news coming yesterday that the NHL Lockout has caused the NHL and the owners to cancel the first two weeks of the 2012-2013 NHL season, San Jose Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle came out and openly ripped the league’s owners for the latest move, saying they were just waiting to incite the players with the most recent development.
Last week, Boyle said that the owners wanted the players to “miss some paychecks.” As of this minute, the NHL owners are still obligated to pay their players through October 15. With the first two weeks of the regular season already wiped out, that takes us through October 26, meaning that Boyle’s prediction has come true.
“I don’t think they’re serious about doing anything until we start missing some checks,” Boyle told reporters after skating at Sharks Ice on Thursday morning. But that is not the only things that Boyle feels is at the root of the current NHL Lockout and the problems holding up a new Collective Bargaining Agreement between the owners and players.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman – already one of the least popular figures in professional hockey history – has implemented a rule in which he needs just eight of 30 votes to veto any CBA proposals that he does not favor, while the NHLPA needs a simple majority in order to approve or reject any deal. That led Boyle to believe that there is a select group of owners – especially the ones who make much more money than others – who have absolutely no issues holding up the negotiations and ignoring what other owners may be willing to agree to, all while cancelling as many games necessary until they get precisely the deal that favors them the most.
Simply put, that means that certain owners will stand pat for the NHL Lockout until they feel they have a drastic reduction in player salaries and contracts – the same ones that they have been handing out like drunken yuppies over the past few seasons. This is one thing that the union has already said it would not accept under any circumstance.
“I think when players make comments, sometimes it’s directed towards 30 owners, but I think a lot of us feel that it’s not across the board. It’s a certain group of teams that are controlling 30 others,” Boyle said. “It doesn’t make any sense to me that eight teams can control the fate of 22 other ones.”
This seems like just the beginning. Games are already scrapped through the majority of the first month of the regular season, but could it just be the start? This does not appear as if either side will budge any time soon, meaning we should see the league cancel games through Thanksgiving within the next few weeks. The next step will be through Christmas, then the calendar year, and then perhaps even through the All-Star break.
“They say it’s our turn, or whatever, but they don’t want to negotiate until we start missing some checks,” he said. “I don’t see anything happening for the next couple months. I know that’s very pessimistic of me, and I really hope I’m wrong. But the eight guys…what if there’s 22 teams out there that want to play right now? How do eight teams control their fate? That bothers me the most.”
This one has all the makings of a possible repeat of the 2004-2005 season that was lost due to the last NHL Lockout. While nobody is rooting for history to repeat itself, this may be inevitable.