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11-18-2012, 03:23 PM
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Tim Panaccio, CSNPhilly -
NHL Notebook: Time for league to make a deal

Meanwhile, all the good achieved over the past seven years in creating a record $3.3 billion business has gone to hell.

Mark this down: When hockey returns, it will do so with less longtime, loyal sponsors who have stood by and watched two lockouts in seven years and understand there is something fundamentally wrong with this business model.

What kind of sports league forces a shutdown to achieve “economic certainty,” with a CBA, and then after record revenues seven years later feels it needs massive changes to assure better economic certainty and sets out to destroy everything it had achieved?

The danger now is that in their desire to annihilate the NHLPA under marching orders from Jeremy Jacobs, Bettman has strengthened the players’ resolve to see this through even if means losing another season.

The players are not going to cave on every contractual right earned in the last surrender of 2004-05. What Bettman needs to understand here is that the strategy of divide and conquer has failed against Fehr. The players aren’t going to abandon him.

It’s time for the NHL to make a deal. End this foolishness before we lose another season, more fans, more money and more sponsors.

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