Well, we could get to see a season after all. Then again, perhaps we are all being set up for another dose of disappointment. Hockey Night In Canada had on the NHL’s #2 man (and celebrated Bettman apologist) Bill Daly on their radio show today. The NHL was unsure whether to use the carrot or the stick method on the fan base. So they decided to split it down the middle and hit the fans with the carrot.
Daly gave the fans a clearer opinion of the cut-off date for the season. The league can be expected to officially kill the 2012-2013 season in the middle of January. Daly was also asked about the current state of affairs in the CBA. (It’s not like we don’t already know where this is going folks.) “Where we are, somebody has to have a new idea or something new to put on the table to move the process along. We’re in a position right now where we felt we made some more substantial movement in the players’ direction two weeks ago in New York and I think our view is we’ve done as much as we can do, and if you have a different idea or a different trade, even on some of the issues we talked about two weeks ago, let’s hear it.”
Daly was also asked in a direct manner to give the fans a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ answer to the following question. Will we have a NHL season? Daly, either being completely sincere or fearing for his safe exodus from Canada answered “Yes.”
Part of me wants to celebrate. The other side of me wants to ask if you can believe this, and if you do, can I sell you some ocean front property in Nebraska? Daly was out and about doing what he has done a pretty remarkable job so far (all PR disasters considered), being the official damage control officer for the league. He admitted that he isn’t sure how the fans and sponsors are going to react to this after a deal is reached. In Daly’s own words he called it a “crap shoot”. (Got to love it when the league equates your emotional connection with a sport to a game of chance, eh?)
Daly also said he expects the players will vote in favor of authorizing the NHLPA Executive Board to file a disclaimer of interest, allowing for the decertification process to continue. So, they’re not talking now, have had made no new plans on talking, and the union is about to flip the season-ending nuclear switch. But Daly believes we will still have hockey. Call me paranoid, but two things must have happened. One, they’ve really got a deal in play and they’re making this their “Christmas Miracle” for the fans. The other option is that Bettman is in the bunker ready to cancel the whole season, and the league is just trying to stay on what’s left of our good side.