Early this month I blogged there might be some faint light glimmering in the dark tunnel of this fall’s National Hockey League’s lock-out.
But no, not so fast!
While more talks did take place, they didn’t seem to produce meaningful progress.
Now media reports in Canada say the deadlock is so intractable that NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is suggesting a two-week moratorium on collective bargaining negotiations.
Will the whole season go down the tubes? This from the Canadian Press:
Asked about that possibility on Thursday morning, deputy commissioner Bill Daly replied: “I hope not.”
“But I’m more discouraged now than I have been at any point in the process,” Daly added.
The Toronto Star reports that NHL Player’s Association special counsel Steve Fehr thought the right deal could be wrapped up fairly quickly. But they aren’t there yet.
Fehr acknowledged that the union and league remained split on three major issues: the division of money, player contract rights and who pays for the damage caused by the lockout.
By Friday the Globe and Mail reported a prevailing mood of anger under a headline of “Vitriol overtakes hope“.
I asked a friend about how this is playing in her house. “Your husband loves hockey, right? How’s he taking this lost season so far?”
Her reply? “Well, he’s so mad at all of them that he just doesn’t care anymore.”
Then she echoed something I’ve heard from many: “Who cares about the millionaire owners and players? I feel sorry for all the little guys – like all the restaurants, all the wait help trying to put themselves through school when business is dead without those game nights.”
I know it’s only hockey. Hopefully just one season.
But positions that sound like ‘total victory or scorched earth!’ bring another saying to mind: ‘be careful what you wish for.’