LOCKOUT: Day 75 – Ok, what’s next?


April 12, 2012; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Shawn Thornton (22) congratulates Boston Bruins center Chris Kelly (23) after he scored the game winning goal during the first overtime period against the Washington Capitals in game one of the 2012 Eastern Conference quarterfinals at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE

Well, sooner or later we knew the government was going to try and help resolve this travesty we call the (alleged) 2012-13 NHL season. The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service sent three mediators to get in there and attempt to fix this disaster. It almost seemed fitting when one of them was dismissed the same day for a torrent of inappropriate rants found of Twitter. (The mediator in question still claims his Twitter account was hacked.) For the last two days, the surviving mediators attempted to sit down with the league and the players’ union and try to make some friggin’ sense of all this.

Well, after two days of negotiations the government has informed the rest of the North America that the two parties can’t seem to bridge the gulf in their differences. (Essentially, a ‘call us when you REALLY want to take these talks seriously’.) Don Fehr expressed his concerns with the following response to the media.

“Today, players and NHLPA staff, along with representatives of the league, concluded a second day of mediation under the auspices of the FMCS. This afternoon, the mediators informed the parties that they did not think it was productive to continue the discussions further today. The mediators indicated that they would stay in contact with the league and the NHLPA, and would call the parties back together when they thought the time was right.”

Alright Jacobs. It looks like you have won this round. I’d offer you congratulations but my heart really isn’t in it. You tell the other owners to keep making monster deals that you know you will not act on, ticking off your players. (Or indentured servants, or workhorses on skates, or whatever horrific term you call them by when it’s just you at your desk at the home office.) Then you tell your messenger Bettman to do what he’s told and lock out the players, setting the fan base into a frenzy.  Then you decide to shoot the moon, and waste the federal government’s time by calling in mediators when you were never really serious about making a deal in the first place.

You are forcing the players to do one of two things. One, they finish their contracts and play in the AHL, WHL, or Europe. In essence relegating the NHL to the status of the ‘red headed stepchild’ of professional sports. Two, actually flip the de-certification switch, and bring hockey to a crashing halt in an all new different way. The players are still trying to negotiate, and all your interested in is helping fellow owners save themselves FROM THEMSELVES!

I wanted to see Jagr play one more game on the ice. I was even holding out to see Timmy Thomas get one more game in the crease. Players like Shawn Thornton who will probably hang up the skates after this last contract wanted to finish out their careers with teams they loved. They want to go out on top with the support of the fans. Mr. Jacobs, when all is said and done it will be argued that no one did more damage to the professional hockey than you did.

It just shocks me that you’ve actually made me a defender of Gary Bettman, and for that I can’t forgive you.