Forget fifth graders, I’m not sure the NHL and NHLPA are smarter than any kid in Kindergarten. You remember that glorious first experience with organized education: half days, naps, snacks, poking each other in the eye. Ok, maybe that last one resembles the ongoing relationship between the NHL and NHLPA, but one of the biggest things you learn in Kindergarten is how to share. On that point, the NHL and NHLPA fail miserably.
And until they figure out how to behave like your average 6 year old, we’re probably not going to have any hockey to watch.
Because make no mistake, this dispute is all about sharing:
The two sides are either going to be sharing the pain or sharing revenue.
How do they get past this inability to share? Well, in reality there are only three ways this dispute will be resolved: the CBA will be imposed after a lockout, they’ll negotiate a mutually disatisfactory agreement, or, through some sort of divine intervention, they’ll actually find a win-win, compromise solution.
I’m not sure how it will go, but I am sure of one thing, the result will be the same after a few years:
Because no matter the terms of the CBA and no matter how they are arrived at, whether imposed or negotiated or brought down from the mountain top etched on stone tablets, the general managers and player agents will find ways to circumvent, subvert and otherwise undermine the provisions. That’s just the way it is.
So in five years, some plurality of the owners will be whining and crying about it. And in that respect, they really are like Kindergarten kids. It’s just too bad they didn’t learn the sharing part.
Switching gears back to Canuckistan, the two big stories over the last few days featured Mike Gillis and Roberto Luongo. The Strombonian one wound up in the money at the World Series of Poker in Vegas, while Canucks’ GM Mike Gillis caught a bit of flack for taking a vacation. And in the summer, at that. The gall.
Sure, Gillis hasn’t been able to trade Luongo yet, but is there really a rush? The chances of the NHL season actually starting in October are probably lower than landing a 140-pound tuna, or hitting an out on an inside straight. And as for Gillis actually getting something of value in return for the Olympic-winning goalie, well, that’s actually not all that different than fishing in Panama or playing in the WSOP:
So relax, Canucks nation. Take a load off. Enjoy the weather. And if you’re downtown, head down to the new Cactus Club on English Bay. I guarantee you’ll enjoy the view.