In part one of my NHL Economics are Broken, article, I left off as saying all parties involved are to blame for this mess. I particularly blame the players and owners for putting the National Hockey League in the position we are in.
Gary Bettman speaks for the owners, but he also must do what is right for the league as a whole. Yesterday we lost all games to be played in the month of November. If I was the Commissioner, I would have canceled the entire season. Why? It is clear that nothing is going to be accomplished.
No matter what the parties try to do… there are items that will not be agreed on right now. I believe they need to get this right for the long term security of the league, owners, players, employees, and fans.
Fans, like myself, are to blame for this. Why? We keep coming back for more of the same, and when momentum starts, it is taken away through a lockout. We also allow owners to raise ticket prices on us to support the contracts they are giving out.
I blame the owners for handing out these ridiculous contracts with lots of money to be paid out during a long period of time. If the owners were so against the players getting all this money to begin with… it should’ve been taken care of 7 years ago when the last Collective Bargaining Agreement was negotiated. The last one was based on Hockey Related Revenue growing through the years. Yes, revenue has grown through out the years, but not all teams have shared in this. There are teams that continue to lose money every year.
I blame the players. What for? They gave in, and signed the last Collective Bargaining Agreement. Bob Goodenow, former NHLPA Director, warned them not to sign it as he predicted the current lockout would happen.
The bottom line really is that… all parties are to blame for the current lockout. It is going to take a long time to get this right as there is alot that must be addressed to prevent this from happening in the future. I will say this… a simple sentence should be written into the next Collective Bargaining Agreement stating it will be in affect for as long as it takes to solidify a new one. Meaning… if the next CBA is for 7 years, but it is set to expire before a new one is signed… the league, owners, and players will play hockey under the old one for as long as it takes to get a new one in place, and signed.
Patience is a virtue. Right now, all parties need to take some time to relax. You know… sometimes before we can decide on what steps to take next… we need to stop everything.