Another end of the world as we know it article about the upcoming labor fight in the NHL.
This one is from the owner’s side, conspicuously timed to come out after the player’s griped about the league.
The league has serious issues, but please, don’t let Capitals owner Ted Leonsis talk about them: “I’m nervous,” said Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis, whose club expects losses of $30 million this season and routinely plays before thousands of empty seats at MCI Center. “The league is in trouble.” Remember, this is the Ted Leonsis that signed known whiner and malcontent Jaromir Jagr to a hugely excessive contract and is now stuck with the underperforming, unhappy Czech for another $50 million dollars of disappointment or so. Ted, look in a mirror, okay?
Pronouncements of doom are going to continue until the bargaining agreement actually does expire, and expect both players and owners to try to spin this to their advantage between now and next fall, when Armageddon occurs (or doesn’t).
Fans need to remember a few things about the ongoing war of words:
First, all of this is aimed at getting fans to lean towards supporting one side over the other. It’s propoganda. It should be treated as such, meaning we should all pay zero attention to either side, and trust nobody in the discussion. The only talk that matters is the talk that goes on over the negotiating table, the rest of this stuff is PR.
Second, nothing is going on around the negotiating table. This worries some people — and it shouldn’t. In labor/union negotiations, nothing happens until the last minute. There is no incentive for anyone to settle early, because anyone who does will be criticized by people saying if they’d held out a little longer, they could have gotten a better deal (and they might well be right!). So don’t expect it to be solved until after the agreement actually expires, and don’t be upset that it’s not being solved.
Third, you’ll do yourself and this whole situation a favor if you just ignore it completely. Until they actually strike, or lock out the players, or agree on a new deal, everything is PR and propoganda, and has no useful value other than stressing fans out unnecessarily. And fans ought to be letting the players and owners stress out over this. It’s not our problem to solve.
We should just enjoy hockey while we have hockey, and if the two sides are stupid enough next fall to screw it up badly, go find something else to do while they argue over how to split up our money. Right now? all we do by paying attention to this garbage is give it more power than it deserves. Fans should just tell both sides to shut up and talk to us when it’s solved, and quite wasting our time with this kind of stuff…