Based on the rhetoric, the players want the fans to blame the owners as much as the owners want the fans to blame the players. I don't listen to the rhetoric.
I will say this much, hockey has lost more games due to labor disputes because of both the NHL and NHLPA. Remember, during the last lockout when the players were making over 70% of the total revenues, the league was justified in locking them out. Many were on the owners side then. Were the players at fault for not giving up enough back then? I feel that a deal could have been reached if both sides actually cared about the sport and the fans. Instead, greed ruled above everything else.
This year is no different from any other lockout year in the NHL. There is great distrust between the sides. Both sides want everything and then some. This isn't the fault of one side or the other in specific, but both sides. I have given up trying to tell people here this because of the bias here on these forums toward the players union. When I look back on all the strikes/lockouts of the last 20 years in the NHL though, its hard to not see that both sides are just not able to handle treating the other side with respect and negotiate in good faith. It was going on back during the players strike and all the way up until today.
This next deal will not be the end of these lockouts. You can count on one at the expiration of the next CBA, probably a players strike this time, and you will see lost games. Unlike other leagues, the NFL knows to keep the money train going. The NBA has its share of issues but they worked out a deal with minimal lost games. The NHL still hasn't learned the basics of labor harmony.
the dysfunction between the pa and the league can go all the way back to alan eagleson in the 80's, whom was found to be essentially in the owners back pocket. once he was removed, the union brings in bob goodenow, who has the players go on strike in 1992 on the eve of the stanley cup finals. then a year later the league brings in bettman to push back and we have been in the era of ugly labor stoppages ever since.
i don't normally agree with cherry, but he is dead on in this article
in all his years of knowing Gary Bettman, Don Cherry had never seen the NHL commissioner as emotional as he was addressing the media following last week’s collective bargaining meetings between the players and owners, which seemingly gained traction and then broke off sharply.
“I’m not saying he was crying or anything, but he actually had water on the sides of his eyes, he was so mad,” Cherry told Brady and Lang on Sportsnet 590 The Fan Monday morning. “I’ve never seen him like that, and I know him personally. I think it’s going to get personal right now. I think they have to hold him back and he’s going to have to bite his lip a little bit because it’s getting personal right now.”
As for the idea of holding a secret ballot within the NHLPA to gauge whether the group is in favour holding out longer for what they want, Cherry believes it can’t hurt. There is no way a player making the league average or lower would voice his opinion otherwise, Cherry said.
“You would be nailed to the cross if you ever stood up and said, ‘Let’s accept the owners’ suggestion and contract,’ ” Cherry explained. “What’s the harm in a secret ballot? If it comes out 100 per cent reject, then at least you know where you stand.
“Guys like (Boston Bruins owner) Jeremy Jacobs -- you think he’s not licking his lips right now?” Cherry asked. “(Players) have got to realize, these teams for these billionaire owners are toys. This is not their main (source of income). If you keep pushing them up the wall, you’re going to be very sorry. They’re calling these billionaires ‘idiots’? That really kills me. You’re not going to snow these guys. These guys have been in negotiations.”