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startin' up a posse [update]

Who wants to join me in hunting down Bettman and making him pay for the demise of the NHL?

Good. Fucking. Bye.

Free Stanley!

Clarification on the Bettman thing:

I hated him from day one. I thought he was absolutely the wrong guy to bring into the situation. And he proved me right time and time again. He took every hope people had for the NHL and rode them right into the ground. So my Bettman hanging is partly from this and partly from every frustration he's caused to build up over the years.

Yea, the players and Goodenow can kiss my Long Island ass, too.


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I'm in, provided we string up that varmint Goodenow as well.

I think Bettman, for once, made an honest effort to save the season, despite all of his other mistakes. The responsibility for more than half of this clusterfuck is due to Goodenow and the NHLPA.

Concur...the players lost touch with their own union...they could've fixed this. They went into the negotiation without a well thought out strategy...now they'll pay the price.

both sides equally deserve any all rants against them. This came down to 6.5mil. don't try the "multiply by 30 thing". From the beginning, this was all about how individual teams could control costs. The diff was 6.5. Both sides an eat my shorts.

IMO, this isnt Bettman's fault. I blame the NHLPA fully.

I think balancing incomes against revenues is a perfectly acceptable solution. The greedy players rejected it.

Let the NHL rot a few years until the older rich superstars retire.

Who wants to join me in hunting down Bettman and making him pay for the demise of the NHL?

Au contraire, it's Goodenow and the player's union that should be "hunted down."

Most business' have a salary budget. I don't understand how hockey players could not grasp this. The NHLPA need the owners more than the owners need the players.

Here in Toronto, the most hockey mad city in the world, most people don't give two shits about this. That should tell you something.


I am all about the beat down on Bettman, even though I think this is the fault of both sides. I think he's a prick.

Too bad the Lightning can't keep the cup during all this mess...

for those who think its solely the fault of the players, the owners have you snowed. And for the Canadians who "don't give two shits". Hurray for you. You have more options for watching hockey up there than we do down here.

Thanks for the clarification. I agree; I think Bettman has f'd up the NHL, BUT not to the point where it was f'd up beyond repair. This cancelled season, though...I think the NHL will be hurt by it more than anything Bettman could have done, and the blame for that lies with Goodenow and the NHLPA.

They're both in trouble. You knew nothing would happen the moment Bettman said last night that "all 30 teams couldn't possibly spend $49 mil and have this work" - we all know good and well that this wouldn't happen in the first place. It's all posturing, and it looks like as much as the players said they were coming down to earth, the owners too, neither one really did. I'm actually more disappointed in the owners at the end of this, because the last two days have proven that they just weren't going to get this done for the sake of the season, which is Bettman's continuous excuse. Goodenow's speech wasn't much better, playing blame game for half an hour. Ugh. This is horrid. I think I feel worse today than I did when we found out they'd be locked out - by a factor of 10.

I think the blame can be laid equally at the owners and the NHLPA. Let us all rise up in arms of hockey sticks and face masks against the NHL as a whole.

I agree with everyone else. Its the players fault. They don't seem to realize the economic reality behind the fact that hockey is a second tier sport in the United States (comparable perhaps to soccer but nowhere near the popularity of baseball, football, or basketball) and the fact that it doesn't have a major media contract pretty much guarantees that will continue even if there is an 05-06 season. When even teams in Canada are losing money, you know somethings wrong.

1. I can't get my trackbacks to work with your blog, so here's this:


In short, I concur with you, but I think the players and owners share equal responsibility for this fiasco. Goodenow thinks he's Don Fehr of the baseball players association. The players overestimate the worth of their positions and the desire for hockey in the U.S.

The owners underestimated the players' resolve, and threw out an ultimatum.

I will give Bettman this. He didn't write a big fat check that his scrawny behind couldn't cash. He stuck to his stance.

Really. He's in midtown. It would take like half a minute to set him up; half a heartbeat to take him out. And then we flee to the subways

Let's GO! (but you gotta let me call you "Squeeky.")

I think both sides fail to fully appreciate that NHL's fan base in the US is small, and that the number of people who can't live without hockey is still smaller.

I loved watching hockey, but now that there isn't any, it isn't like I spend my nights sitting around staring at a blank TV screen. Screw 'em. I'll watch college basketball instead.

It will be interesting to see if the league can recover from this. Bring on the XHL.

I'm waiting for the call for replacement players... I'd kill to be paid to play the sport I love for a living.

I'm willing to be that most of the folks here solely blaming the players for the lockout never have anything good to say about ANY union. The owners decided many months ago that they were going to go for total victory at any cost, and that's what's happening.

Salary caps do have some positive effects, but they also have a very significant downside. One thing they do is make life even easier for the crappy teams that don't make any effort at being competitive. Does anyone really believe that the Chicago Blackhawks are going to contend for a Stanley Cup in the brave new salary cap world? If you do, there's a bridge in Brooklyn I need to talk to you about. That's NOT capitalism - it's more like a company that makes an inferior product being propped up by a government subsidy. Another negative effect of salary caps is the acceleration of player movement. A player has a good season, his team can't afford to give him a raise, he's off to another town. You eventually can't keep track of who's on your team without downloading that day's line-up to your PDA.

I believe in giving all teams an opportunity to be successful. Without help of any kind, small market teams don't have much chance. But revenue sharing and a stiff luxury tax can help hold down player salaries without giving a free ride to the teams that make no effort to win. The real point here is that the players actually agreed to a salary cap. The owners just weren't in any mood to compromise.

You could make a case that the players should have just taken whatever the owners offered, since the league may never recover from this unprecedented wipeout of an entire season. I'm not saying the players are blameless in this, but it's clear to me that the owners have a scorched earth strategy. They had better hope the economy is in great shape when this is over, because I think a lot of individual fans WILL stay away. If they can't sell a massive wad of seats to corporate buyers, they're going to feel some real pain...

I can't ignore the fact that 15 years ago no one watched hockey (relatively speaking). Owners and the NHL took a risk in snuggling up to advertisers, spending lots of promo money and had the advantage of lots of teams moving from north to south. You think there was fan volume before San Jose, Carolina, Florida, and Tampa Bay? The owners stuck their necks out and built a fan base, subsequently getting richer. Doesn't it seem that the players are now upset about the division of wealth vs. the status quo? Especailly when Lemieux said what he did about being on the other side of the table (and if you can't believe in Mario, who can you believe?)

Also, almost all the big players in NHLPA are from places known to be socialist leaning (Europe and Canada), and one from Mass.(quasi-Canada). If I were looking for a conspiracy theory, I'd cry "pinko".

Anyway, just food for thought - go ahead and blow holes in my theory.

I gotta disagree that a luxury tax would get the job done. I got three words for you: Kansas City Royals. The Yankees sign the stud to a $200 million contract, pay the tax, and kick the small team's butts.

Sorry, I'm a little biased. As a Predator's fan, this is devastating. Six years of careful planning and shrewd moves FINALLY gets us into the playoffs, we have a stable of young, talented players, and the CBA like the owners wanted would have put us over the top. The've pulled off a near miracle, bringing hockey to Nashville and (almost) making it work. This sucks.

Yeah, I know - they should be able to survive on their own without any help from the CBA, but that's asking a lot of a second-tier sport in a non-traditional town.

This sucks.

Contracts said the players were to get paid X dollars. Then the owners said they couldn't afford that. Did both sides sign the contract?

The owners were the ones who made this situation. They are responsible. If I owned a company and told my employees I'd be able to pay them a certain amount and then couldn't, I'd have to be pretty damn humble as I asked them (begged, more like) to take a paycut to compensate for my stupidity and lack of sound financial planning. If they took it, I'd be grateful. And if they told me to go to hell, it still wouldn't be their fault that we are in that mess (and the company folded, and the customers got pissed, and I looked like a dope, and so on).

I agree that baseball's luxury tax is only a minor annoyance for Steinbrenner but that's because it's not high enough, not because the idea is bad. You make it steeply graduated, where it ends up costing him 400 million to spend 200 million on salaries, and he'll adjust his spending behavior downward.

One part of this that's not getting much attention is that even under the old system, it was possible for smaller payroll teams to be competitive. Of course, part of that is the neutral zone trap and all the clutching and grabbing that's still allowed. But even if the owners get the salary cap they want, there's no reason to believe they're going to do away with the trap and put skating back in the game.

I read recently that Bettman was responsible for chucking the old names for the Conferences and Divisions (i.e., Campbell Conference, Norris Division, etc.) and instead replacing them with the lethally generic and boring "Eastern," "Western" etc. After that genius decision, I knew things were gonna go downhill. One does not delete decades of history and not eventually suffer for it.

One wonders what Lord Stanley is thinking.

I guess now the 'players' will have to go out and get a real job just like the rest of us who try to make ends meet every day.