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09-18-2004, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom_Benjamin
The players who are playing in Europe are doing so under one of two contracts. Those who have NHL deals signed can have an escape clause that allows them to return at any time. Those who are without an NHL deal can't return this season if the lockout is lifted. In other words, Thornton will be back whether an agreement is reached on October 1st or December 1st. Kovalev will not be back next season if he plays any games in Europe.

I think the players do expect there will be no hockey until January. Before that point, the owner's have most of the leverage. The games in the first half of the season are the hardest ones to sell. The playoffs involve the easiest games to sell and since the players don't get paid are the most profitable games by far.

In other words, the players expect the owners to cave by January if they plan to cave this year. The players don't plan to cave ever.

While I don't completely agree with you Tom, I can't entirely disagree either. My take on it is this...These owners are all very well off away from hockey. It take countless millions to buy into the league and you can bet they didn't sign over the deed to their houses to come up with the funds. If this goes on for an extended period I believe that the owners are in a much better position then the majority of the players. Now each side knew this was coming, and they were told to prepare for no hockey and no paychecks. However it is a lot easier for the more veteran types to do this than for the new kids who are 3 years in or less. The age old adage of don't spend more than you make, has never made more sense then in times like this for the players. They are used to making a certain amount every 2 weeks, and spend it accordingly. When the money starts becoming an issue, I believe you will see many players wanting to get back and play the game.

Some players have already spoken up, only to have the NHLPA quickly detract their statements. Why? Can these grown men not have an opinion of their own? The problem is that they must appear united, and any little word against their plight is proof that they are not all on the same page. And how could they be? There are 700+ players in the league. All of which have different salaries and different situations to deal with.

If the owners stick to their guns, there is little doubt that they will break the union. Yes the owners will have to pay for their leases on empty buildings, but they won't have to pay for the staff and concessions during a stoppage. I think Bettman was serious when he said that the league and its teams will lose far less money if there is no hockey. When a statement like that is true, then I am all for a lockout if it means fixing the game.

The owners are the ones who are taking a huge risk here. While there is no Hockey they **** off the fans they have, losing some in the process, but also they cerainly won't attract any new ones either. So that is why if forced to pick a side, I am with the owners. I know they created all of these problems themselves, and now, finally they understand that the only way to fix them is to wait out the players and get exactly what they feel they need to survive longterm.

Puckhead is offline