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11-16-2012, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Blind Gardien View Post
Definintely interesting. It somehow never really occurred to me that so many people would see things so completely differently from the way I do on that. I watch hockey at all levels, have since I was a kid. I have been exclusively loyal as a Habs fan in the NHL, while nomadically following a variety of teams at lower levels. I can sort of see the union-based solidarity argument against supporting a replacement player team, that's more a political/philosophical decision and I think I can understand that angle even if I don't personally find it all that meaningful at the income levels of NHL players.

But I never figured people wouldn't watch just because they thought it somehow wasn't "the best" hockey it could be. There are players in the ECHL today who are better than players I cheered for as Habs in decades past. I just don't see how the relative quality of the players matters or how it would be a "travesty" or anything like that. The connection to the "Habs logo" is just of paramount importance to me.

Bringing in replacement players would be somewhat distasteful just from it being a union-busting technique, but really, it's a union of millionaires who had ample opportunity to continue being millionaires, so it's a little hard to get behind them on principle like you would for the more run-of-the-mill blue-collar unions of yesteryear. Nobody is being oppressed or really being subjected to extremes of exploitation here. I mean, I'm pro-player on the basic bargaining issues in this CBA negotiation, and beyond left wing politically, but to me this isn't about real human rights issues or anything like that, the NHL is just a form of entertainment, a luxury item to modern society... I like watching hockey, and have formed a personal identification with the Montreal Canadiens... but I really don't care who the players on the ice are or how they stack up against some other group of players in the past, future, or outside the league.

If anything, as a rambling aside, in terms of labour issues and societal impacts... if a replacement player league was up and running and all the rest of the non-player employees and "normal people" with small scale stakes in the business were back on their myriad jobs, I'd say that was a more important issue than worrying about the names on the back of the players' jerseys. Nobody is representing the ticket checkers or floor sweepers or zamboni drivers or waiters or whoever in the labour dispute. Put the replacement players on the ice, I'm satisfied as a non-judgemental Habs devotee looking for hockey entertainment and certain I'd find it, and also *more* satisfied on behalf of the unrepresented 99%ers associated at whatever remove with the industry as well.

(All while still accepting that replacement players are probably even less of an option for our team than they might be for others, just on labour laws, so still treating it all as one big fat hypothetical fantasy, of course.)
Great overall post. I agree with almost all of it.

I follow the Habs. Period. I love any player in a Habs uniform, and will boo him the second he plays for another team (or at least not cheer for him as much as is impossible to boo Saku!). I would rather watch replacement players in a Habs jersey than no players in a Habs jersey.

I also would like to point out that there are plenty of players in other leagues at least as good as current "NHL Talent". There is no doubt that plenty of players in the minors or elsewhere could put up better numbers than Gomez, Komisarek, DiPietro, etc...if they were given a chance. Unfortunately, with guaranteed contracts, we get players who are no longer worth the money they are making keeping jobs from better players without contracts. I highly doubt most people would even notice any difference if replacement players were to be used by the NHL. We would all find our new favourites, new stars, new heroes, and new villains. We love (hate) Crosby today. 15 years from now, he will be a memory and we will love (hate) the new Kid on the block. Using replacement players will simply speed up the process.

If the owners were trying to completely screw over the players, I would argue against replacement players and be for the players. The owners asking for 50% of the HRR is a completely fair demand, as are their demands on other contractual processes to ensure fair competition among wealthy and poor franchises. The players are not some poor oppressed group of workers making peanuts. They will make millions throughout their careers and will be able to parlay those hockey careers into other money making opportunities throughout their lives, to one degree or another. If they do not want a fair split of the HRR, let them watch other players make a living in the NHL.

Bring on the replacement players so I can go watch my beloved Habs beat the damned Bruins!!!

Drydenwasthebest is offline