First the lockout, then Disney buys the rights to destroy Star Wars, and now NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has requested a two-week break from negotiations with the NHLPA on a new collective bargaining agreement. From what I’ve seen on ESPN.com, Fehr has yet to give Betman an official answer on Bettman’s request. It’s painfully obvious that the players and the union would rather continue negotiations. The two sides appeared to be coming closer two weeks ago, when lengthy meetings at an undisclosed location were held in New York, but those talks suddenly collapsed and the NHL and the union have not had any communication since Sunday.
Perhaps Bettman just wants to step back and let the Head of the Board of Governors (and Bruins owner) Jeremy Jacobs officially preside over the death of the 2012-2013 season. Maybe his hiatus from the discussion could give Steve Fehr and Bill Daly (the respective #2’s at the union and the league) another opportunity to collaborate and make some sort of deal that will preserve the league and perhaps shock and/or shame their superiors into action. One can only wonder if Bettman has finally come to realize that this lockout seems to be on him, and wishes to avoid the legions of angry fans. Well Gary, a two week break will only further drive to us a more aggressive shade of incarnadine.
A two week break GUARENTEES that the NHL will have to cancel more games. We’ll probably see the first two weeks of December taken off the season. Then again, this is Gary Bettman. He’ll probably recommend to the Board of Governors that the shelf the entire month of December. They’ve already killed the Winter Classic, so why not kill Christmas while you’re at it? A two week break will not ensure any sort of peace Mr. Bettman. A two week hiatus will do nothing but make Fehr more blood thirsty, make dozens of good NHL players seriously re-evaluate playing in Europe, and energize an already frustrated fan base to new levels of loathing.