While there have been mixed messages throughout the NHL Lockout, it appears as if talks have basically gone absolutely nowhere. That is why NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is calling for a two week recess.
That makes sense, right? If talking has not led to a new CBA, then not talking certainly should.
We are two weeks away from December. We know that games have been cancelled through the month of November, as the NHL has also scrapped the 2013 Winter Classic in Detroit between the Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs on New Year’s Day. The next step will be wiping out all games through December, while the announcement after that inevitably to be that the entire 2012-2013 NHL season has been lost.
Therefore, with such a sense of urgency, why not stop talking for the next couple of weeks?
Why can’t Bettman just come flat out and say what he is thinking?
He loves stuffing and sweet potatoes with those little marshmallows and pecan pie and does not want to have Thanksgiving interrupted.
Oh, and he really doesn’t want the NHL to play this season anyway. That has long been the feeling of many owners, who have already made it clear that the majority of them would actually lose less money by not playing than they would if they played the season and had to assume their payroll.
At this point, does it really matter? Talk. Don’t talk. Negotiations have gone nowhere, with this latest week being one of the worst in terms of communication and progress. In fact, over the past seven to nine days, talks have gone in the opposite direction. Clearly, all the talk about how close the two sides were were actually never true. According to at least the union, the two sides are not even close to agreeing to a new deal that would bring back hockey relatively soon.
So, really, it doesn’t matter. The fans already know how this all ends.
Bettman can say what he wants. The union can say what they want. For that matter, so can the players.
This season is a wash. The sooner they announce it officially, the sooner fans can start to move on and finally stand up and tell the NHL what they really think.
And it won’t be Happy Thanksgiving, or Happy Boxing Day.
It will be quite derogatory, and well deserved.