I think its equally telling just how much NHLPA ass you are willing to kiss by only focusing on the faults of the owners while ignoring the faults of the NHLPA. I don't think I need to keep repeating over and over again how much the owners proposal sucked a big one. Just like I don't need you to keep reiterating over and over again about how much the league could bend a bit more. I mean, we had this discussion back about 15 pages ago. You had some constructive comments to give to the NHLPA, and I have been saying all along that the owners proposal sucked a big one. I don't think we need to drag each side through the mud anymore than they already have.
Do we really need to hear each other say the negative things about each side in order to agree that both sides really have not budged very much?
I haven't done either of those, but keep trying. The difference is one side has not budged much from its insane proposal, while the other has not budged much from its pretty rational starting point for negotiating.
The reason this is more the fault of the owners and Bettman is very simple. Revenue is up 50% in the 7 years under the CBA. The league has over a billion dollars more in revenue than it did at the start of the CBA. A BILLION DOLLARS. The problem is that rich have gotten richer while other franchises struggle. The biggest problem facing the league is clearly the financial disparity among franchises, not player salaries.
The owners solution to that problem is to take more money from the players. That is no long term solution. It is an uncompromising money grabbing strategy that relies on the players union crumbling once again and conceding virtually everything. For that strategy to be effective requires a lockout to break the players will.In other words, the league's strategy from day one was built on implementing a lockout.
So while they players haven't come far off their stance, there's still the underlying issue of ownership not even acknowledging that their assessment and proposed solution for the league is a fantasy. That's where Bettman should come in as the voice of reason, diplomat, and steward of the league. He isn't. I don't know if it's his strategy or if he's just parroting what ownership wants, but he seems more intent on breaking the union than on preserving hockey and the long term health of the league.
We all can pretty much agree on what the general solution is, plus or minus a few details. The players salary does need to come down a few percentage points, the league needs to increase revenue sharing to struggling franchises, and add some limits to contract lengths and how they're calculated against the cap. Those will all help the smaller franchises compete with the ones flush with cash.
The NHLPA's proposal was a starting point in that world. The NHL and Bettman in particular, however, have not joined the rest of us in the real world.