NHL Lockout: An appeal to Commissioner Gary Bettman
Problem with this lockout is revenue and how to split it up.
Published September 25, 2012 • 2 comments
BY JOHN MACDONELL, Guest Writer
Ah, the Lockout ploy. Something that fans hate, players and owners instigate, and league officials are supposed to avoid.
In all sports, the owners are considered the face of the league, while the players and their representation comprise the Players Association. Usually the two sides sign contracts that last anywhere from six to ten years.
MORE: NHL goes into a Lockout
Both parties negotiate the revenue sharing as well as several smaller details. Every league signs contracts.
But there’s always that one year where something can go awry. For the National Hockey League, it seems like that year comes around more often than most.
If you’ve made it this far into this article, you’re probably someone who cares about the game of hockey like I do. If that’s the case, you must also remember the NHL Lockout of 2004-05. It was here where the entire season was lost due to squabbles over money — how to split it, salary cap issues, luxury tax concerns, and other issues.
Growing up, hockey was my favorite sport and I idolized the Red Wings. However, I was only 14 years old at the time of the 04-04 lockout and the term “revenue splitting” meant nothing to me. I just wanted to see Steve Yzerman on the ice.
I had no idea why they stopped playing and, to be quite honest, I just moved on from the sport. Sure I watched the next season when the two sides finally came to an agreement, but I never was the fan I could have been.
This is all thanks to Commissioner Gary Bettman.
This isn’t 2004 anymore, but it sure seems like it. Mr. Bettman, you are walking down the same road that, not even 10 years ago, annihilated half of your fan base. Sure, the players will be fine.
Although they won’t exactly be collecting a weekly check, they’ve made plenty of money playing this game and won’t suffer sitting for a prolonged period of time. The owners? They won’t be bringing in any revenue, but they also won’t have to pay any salaries, arena upkeep, or similar expenses. Do you know who loses?
The fans lose, Mr. Bettman. The ten year old that stays up late a couple days out of the week to watch Pavel Datsyuk work his magic, loses. The 20,000+ that pack the Joe Louis Arena 41 times a year lose. The local businesses that harbor the hockey faithful lose. We all lose. And over what?
Money. Sure it makes sense for the owners and players to fight over 1% of the revenue — that’s a considerable amount in professional sports. However, as Commissioner, it is Bettman’s job to ensure that these negotiations go smoothly and end quickly. He’s failed three times folks. And the third time’s the charm.
It’s time to go Mr. Bettman. Stop ruining my game and take your disastrous mediating skills with you.