There are times you have to look at the National Hockey League and wonder why they are so determined to engage in self destructive behavior. The NHL ownership were determined to engage in the lockout, and they used Bettman to break the season in half. These were the same people who told the clubs to conduct buisness as usual as they prepared for a showdown with the union.
Before we hit the lockout disaster, the NHL threw a re-alignment of the divisions to the players. The players rejected it outright. Part of me wonders if that was one of the issues that made the ownership, spurred on by our own Jeremy Jacobs such an intransigent force during the lockout.
So, did the NHL learn from this little blooper? Could have they acknowledged that previous mistake? No, not these guys. Once again the powers that be have chosen a new alignment pattern that suits their needs. (I’m sure it’s some fantastic floor model that will indicate exciting new revenue streams and growth potential, and yada yada yada.) To the NHL’s credit, they are trying to make a modification to the divisions that gets the Winnipeg Jets out of the SOUTHEAST conference. Here are the proposed new divisions:
Division “1” : Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals
Division “2”: Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs
Division “3”: Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, Nashville Predators, St. Louis Blues, Winnipeg Jets
Division “4”: Anaheim Ducks, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, Phoenix Coyotes, San Jose Sharks, Vancouver Canucks
It’s just another form of madness from the mind of Bettman. I encourage you to trace an outline of North America and re-district those new divisions. It’s a god awful mess. Once again the NHL is trying to goad the players’ union into some form of argument. Hey owners! You wasted four months of everyone’s time with your petulant desires. Now you want to take a mostly functional system and draw a whole new map. This feels less like a structured movement and more like someone at the home office who is still annoyed because Santa Bettman didn’t give him the perfect CBA for Christmas.
Owners. You just saw a billion dollars of revenue go down the toilet. What should sting is that you caused it. Now, you’re asking your head yes-man to agitate the players again. Could you have not waited until the fans booed Bettman off the ice when he awards the Stanley Cup to the next championship team?