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05-26-2004, 09:57 AM
  #1
True Blue
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More Bettman posturing

Can't get the link to the article as I do not see it online for some reason, but today's Star-Ledger ran an article that had Bettman saying that basically the owners was prepared for a work-stoppage of any length. The article had a quote by John Henry (Red Sox owner) that said that he thinks that Bettman is looking forward to the strike more than he is to the Cup finals.
Bettman is basically guaranteeing that when the smoke clears, that there will be a hard salary cap in the mid $30m range. So, all of his bluster tells me that he thinks that shutting down the league for 2 years in order to get his way is worth it. It basically seems to me that Bettman is determined to shut the league down just to prove a point. At this point, I really think that he wants to shut the league down and nothing will change his mind in the short-term. He even refuses to sit down to bargain unless Goodenow includes a hard salary cap into his vocabulary. Bettman is basically saying unless the players agree upfront to a hard salary cap, that there will be no bargaining.
A $35m hard cap is ridiculous, IMO. Heck, the Devils are one of the most frugal teams in the league, but even they had a mid $50m in salaries. Such a low cap would equalize salaries across the board. Gone would be the days of 4th liners making over $1m. But also there would be no difference in salary of the elite players and the mid-level players. A $35m cap would not allow the superstar player to be paid like a superstar (which even the NFL cap makes room for).
There have been grumblings from the players that they agree that they are definetly overpaid and are willing to do something about it, but under no cirsumstance are they willing to have such a low cap. Can't say I disagree with them there.
I typically have no sympathy towards the players. They ALL (in ALL sports) make too much money. However, the best players in the league deserve to be paid like the best players in the league. To me, the bigger of the 2 evils in this (players & owners) is Bettman. I don't know if this fool really recognizes the damage that he will inflict upon hockey in the USA. A 2 year strike may very well kill this sport forever. Even a 1 year-long shutdown may irrevocable damage the sport. It just seems to me that Bettman is determined for there to be no hockey in 2004-2005 just to prove a point that the owners can survive. He seems to be more interested in breaking the players union than he is in actually compromising an agreement.

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