I'm not going to get into a discussion of unions in general. It would throw this thing totally off topic.
So then, you are saying Unions hold back progress to get what they want?
As related to hockey, specifically the realignment, yes, that's what I'm saying.
The proposed realignment really only hurt the Florida teams. Sure, Detroit didn't get to go East, but it was still a decent division. With all of the teams spread throughout the continent, it's impossible to come up with something that will please everyone.
If the PA had contacted the League and pointed out some flaws and asked to have a meeting, I'm sure they could have been ironed out in time for next season's schedule to be made.
Instead, we just get a "no" from the PA, and the league is stuck with Winnipeg in the Southeast again.
I honestly think that if the CBA wasn't expiring, that the PA would have just called and said, "Hey, Gary... about that Florida thing. The players aren't too happy about that. Can we talk?"
Instead, it gives them leverage for the next "talks". That's what the whole thing is about. The PA and the League stockpile "issues" such as the realignment and the next Olympics to use as bargaining chips, and in the meantime the Jets have an unfair travel schedule.
There was no helping it for this season, but it should have been ironed out by now. I can see why the PA gets input from the players, and I can see why the League would want input from the players, but at the end of the day, decisions need to be made, and it's the League's job to do it.
Those big "negotiations" stand in the way of real communication about small issues like this. That's the part the cheeses me. Just talk and settle it. Quit waiting around for the time when you can use it as a pawn. It feels like both sides are playing a game that is unrelated to hockey, and the fans are puck.