Thread: GDT: The lockout thread
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09-18-2012, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Fishhead View Post
I don't think there is much solidarity on either side this time around. Right now it seems so, but I doubt it stays that way. I don't have the grim feeling I had during that cancelled season year (that could be the cup, though )

If I was a rank and file guy, I'd be pissed to see big name guys going to play elsewhere. Here I am taking a hit for what I believe is a fair deal, and guys who are already have ridiculous amounts of money are bolting to make even more. Their ridiculously structured contracts are a reason the league is in a fix. It's "Pay me, or I leave". I have no problem with free agency, but just milking teams for everything you can is very unbecoming. The vast majority of guys who don't make a kings ransom have to have a gnawing feeling inside. They still make a lot of money, but after taxes and all if they only play for 3 or 4 seasons on a lower contract they aren't making any more money over their lifetimes than a solid, successful businessman. There's nothing wrong with that, but there is an opportunity cost here, and it's a loss of income that can never be made up. I don't see them sticking together for long like they claim to be now. If I'm a guy like Westgarth, I'm steamed because I don't make a fraction of what a star does, and I'm here working and representing and he's overseas padding his wallet.

On the other hand, I don't see a brotherhood with the owners at all. They certainly aren't all in the same boat. Guys like Snider don't give a crap about the other owners, they are in it to win, and they don't care how much it costs. In a perfect world, that's how it should be, but there are limited dollars in the pool of sports fans out there with regards to the NHL. The big teams have a successful product and don't want to give money to the small teams, and I don't blame them. While some smaller teams may legitimately bust their butts to do everything they can to build a successful franchise, there are guys like Wang who consistently just take advantage of the system. I see a rift developing as the big market teams have plenty to lose by a lockout, while the smaller markets have absolutely nothing to lose.

Both sides are to blame here. In addition, I also put some blame on some of the ridiculous things certain agents do. For every Brisson, a good guy who gets a fair shake for his client without a circus, there are idiots like Meehan and others at Newport, who put on a show to suck every penny out they can for their client, regardless of the damage done. That's just bad for the health of the game in general. The hardball-holdout crap and the extravaganza for Brad Richards just leave a bad taste in my mouth. The players have a hand in it, because they hire these guys, but I don't think a lot of them know exactly what they are signing up for with certain agents.

Another group I blame are some of the GM's in the league who have no idea how to build a team, draft, and structure a payroll. They have little vision and only think short-term, which leads to craptacular decisions and throwing loads of money at mediocre players to try to fix a problem that is beyond fixing with free agents. The Islanders have had top 10 picks in 6 out of the last 7 seasons, with 4 of them being top 5, and they haven't sniffed the playoffs in 5 years. It's not like they are on the cusp, either. The Blue Jackets have had a top 10 pick 11 our of their 13 drafts, 8 of which have been #6 or earlier. They've broken 90 points and made the playoffs just once. That, is the definition of poor management.
Once the rules are in place Snider does everything he can to put a winning team on the ice. He is known though as one of the hard line owners when it comes to reducing the percentage of HRR that the players take home in salary.

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