LOCKOUT: Day Twenty-Six :Small Market Teams Silenced?


OK, they’re talking again. Secondary issues are still the mainstay of conversation. The dreaded deal-killing HRR is still only getting minimal face time. Why? Personally, I think we’re seeing the twLast Sunday, Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun offered his thoughts on why the NHL will dig in and very likely hold out against any compromise on the HRR that doesn’t outrageously favor the owners. “The owners got “cost-certainty” through a cap the last time we were in this situation. It wouldn’t seem it is worth losing a season this time, since the framework is there to put a deal in place.”

Garrioch had mentioned that there was someone relating the fears of the smaller maket owners.  While their dissention would move the process along, and help end the lockout. The small cabal of the large market teams were going to make sure that the NHLPA gave in first. This individual further  knowledge of the bargaining suggested Bettman has the support from the board of governors and those who don’t like the idea of the lockout are sitting silent to see if the NHL can get the union to bend.

“The dissenters are being quiet and waiting to see how far (Bettman) can (make) Fehr go,” he said. The dissenters have no choice. Speaking out could mean a fine of up to $1 million and a loss of draft choices.” Ah, graft, coersion, and extortion. Got to love it when good old Mafia policies makes its way into the negotiation rooms of New York and Toronto.

Attention small market owners: I understand, and I’m quite sure your fans understand that you want(and need) to be competitive with the big markets. (Then again, if you look at Toronto’s record last year, you probably already are.) In your desire(somesay obsession) to bring your teams to parity you have made some wonderously reckless choices with your franchise. You are partially responsible for this mess. Now, take a SERIOUS look at your large market brethren. The ones that are essentially brow-beating you into silent collusion.  You have the opportunity here to bring yourselves to parity by telling the fans that you want a return to hockey.

The players’ proposal favored you. Granted, it is not conventional for a CEO (or governor) to listen to the thoughts of one of his employees (or players). However, you still have an opportunity to take a more objective look at the players’ offer. You also have the media as a tool. If you’re being rail-roaded into silence, then speak out. Otherwise, it’s not the National Hockey League anymore. It will be the Cabal of the Big Market.