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10-28-2012, 09:33 PM
  #44
tarheelhockey
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I don't "hate" the players and I didn't start this thing on either side of the fence. But here's what I've seen:

1) The owners wanted to start negotiating this thing close to a year ago. The players insisted on waiting until the summer and then took until August to get serious.

2) The players rail on Bettman, but their hiring of Fehr (even MORE of a non-hockey mercenary than Gary) was a clear indicator of where they wanted to go with this thing. At that moment it was obvious that this process would be bitter, drawn-out and destructive... because that's what Fehr brings to the table. What is a fan supposed to make of that?

3) The overplayed line about "we just wanted to play while negotiating". How stupid do they think we are? They hired Don ****ing Fehr and want to start the season without an agreement... are they serious!?

4) Honestly, the players need to put a gag order on public statements. The more they speak out, the worse it gets.

5) It's a lost cause. Even if they manage a few extra concessions, what is it going to cost? We're losing games, careers, and the battle for public attention here. Hockey is losing its share in the sports marketplace, and for what? 1% of HRR? A year on ELCs? Exactly how much damage is going to be done to the sport when we all know that the global framework of the new CBA is already in view? It just comes off as ridiculous to continue to see non-starter proposals at this stage of the game, knowing damned well the players will eventually have no choice but to give up the pretense that they're capable of holding out for an ideal offer.

My feelings toward the owners are still basically neutral, because they've done exactly what I expected. But the players have taken the low ground early and often, and it doesn't appear to be getting them anywhere. As far as I'm concerned, we're missing games right now primarily because of the players.

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