Wednesday night we heard Bettman give the shortest presser ever. It was so short you could fit his entire message in a single tweet. We all fell for the optimism. We were like:
Hell, we were so stoked by the high the NHL and NHLPA left us we even made this:
(hahahaha ha ha heh eh… meh)
Boy, weren't we fools. Awful, awful fools.
On Thursday, Bettman and Fehr both entered the negotiations again and shit went back to the way it was before. In short: you can say good-bye to any chance of a 2012-2013 NHL Season.
More after the jump…
So things were going good on Weds. The fact that Bettman didn't want to give away what was going on was the best news the lockout had seen. The owners and players without their repsective figureheads were hammering out a deal. Sure it got heated at times, but at least they were talking and negotiating — something the lockout hadn't seen since it began.
Things were looking rosy. Even the most pessimistic of fans saw a glimmer of hope. Steve Burton was on the verge of becoming the NHL's prophet. Crosby was already getting credit for "saving the NHL." Fans were practically jerking off to the idea of going to games again. Reports were flying that players were even told by coaches to "get ready."
Yesteday happened. Oh god… why?
The players and league both felt like they were closing in on a deal, but — like smart employees — the players wanted their legal rep to come check out the deal. And Fehr said "Nooooo way." And they sent the league a counter-propsal to which Bettman and the owners said:
(photo from our friend androxin)
Then the four described "moderate" NHL owners came out despite the NHL's gag order to bitch about Fehr. They used words like "going backwards" and very disappointed and disillusioned", saying they were so close until PA reps jumped back in. One guy even compared Fehr to a "suicide bomber", furthering the effort to make an update of Godwin's Law to include terrorism comparisons.
Adater even tweeted this out:
From deep inside players side: "We were ready to play again. But Don came in (Wed.) and told us we could get more and to hold out"
— adater (@adater) December 7, 2012
So Fehr's the badguy now, right?
I'm not saying the deal is bad. But if I'm willing to sign something & my council advises me against it, that's sort of what he's there for.
— Harrison Mooney (@HarrisonMooney) December 7, 2012
For better or worse, that's what Donald Fehr is there for — to look after his guys. Reality check: you don't hire Fehr to take a so-so deal. You hire Fehr to wage war and kick ass and get everything your heart and soul desires and maybe a little more. That's what you sign on for when you hire Fehr.
NEW YORK — The NHL Players' Association made a proposal Thursday it feels should lead to a quick resolution of the NHL lockout. Executive director Don Fehr said the sides were close.
But the owners not only rejected that proposal, they pulled key elements off the table — the concept of so-called "make-whole" payments, which were intended to cushion the blow to current contracts as the players' share of revenue dropped from 57 to 50, plus everything they added this week in an effort to reach a deal. Commissioner Gary Bettman said it was unfair for the PA to spin everyone into an "emotional frenzy." Deputy Bill Daly said the union was "cherry picking."
PD goes on to explain how Daly's right about the PA cherry picking what the most important issue is. It seems to change from day to day.
Here's an image of what the negotations looked liked after the owners read through the PA's proposal.
Video of Bettman getting fired up:
Probably the least sugar coated we've seen Bettman in, well, forever.
Of course, the owners aren't blameless either. From St.-Louis Post-Dispatch:
Similarly, the owners are out of their minds if they don’t see elements in the NHLPA’s counteroffer that they can live with to get hockey back this season.
Are we really going to drop the ax on an entire season because the owners are THAT adamant about five-year term limits for player contracts? And are the players THAT opposed to five-year contract term limits that they will let an entire season’s worth of salary go down the drain?
It’s pure madness in my opinion. All of it. Both sides.
Least the NHL is good at one thing. From NESN by way of Masshole Sports (and a little of their editing involved):
And all of this can be summaraized with a photoshop of Fehr and Bettman shitting on our chests but it doesn't seem worth the effort of making that. Also, I think we fans have all suffered enough as it is without needing to see that photoshopped.
As Bill Daly said about the contract limits:
“This is the hill we will die on,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told reporters in New York.
And die they shall.