With an NHL lockout less than a week away, the collective bargaining agreement has been a hot button topic lately. A lot of fans are behind the players and their fight for an equal share of money, but I can’t say that I am. Having said that, I’m not backing the owners either, I am simply rooting for an agreement.
Let me ask you this question: If you heard right now that an agreement was reached, and the season was going to start on time with no lockout, would you care what the deal was? Honestly, other than if the new CBA had longer entry level contracts, and 10 years until unrestricted free agency, both of which I think are bad ideas, I don’t think I would really care what the deal is. But even if lengths of contracts and free agency changed, I would get use to it, and wouldn’t complain about it because I would be able to watch hockey in October. Lower salary cap, lower percentage of revenues for the players, less guaranteed money…it doesn’t matter to me, every team has to abide by the same rules.
I don’t know a ton about the big issues with the CBA, but I feel like the percent of revenue going to each side, and revenue sharing throughout the league are what is keeping a deal from being done. I know this sounds like an uninformed way to argue, but what it boils down to is millionaires arguing with billionaires over money. Lets say every NHL player had to play for a salary of $1 Million every year, something the players would never agree to, as fans and players of the game, wouldn’t you switch jobs with them in an instant. The bottom line is, I don’t care where the money goes, I just want to see hockey being played.
Here is another question for you: If you could choose between missing another full NHL season, but having the players win the “CBA battle” next summer, or have the owners win right now, which one would you pick? For me it is easy, I want to see hockey, I want to see the winter classic, I want to see playoff hockey, and next June I want to see someone lift the Stanley Cup above their head in joy.
Going into every season there are story lines, but this season in particular there are so many intriguing stories. How will the Red Wings fare without Nick Lidstrom? What kind of seasons will the new look Wild and Hurricanes have? Will the Blue Jackets reach 10 wins (I kid, I kid)? Will the Stars make the playoffs with the additions of Jagr, Whitney, and Roy? Will Edmonton show progress after having the first overall pick in the draft for the last 3 years? Can Sidney Crosby stay healthy? These are just the biggest ones too! I many so many questions! And what about fantasy hockey and the challenge and pleasure of sculpting the best team in your league, what if that doesn’t happen because there is no NHL this year?
The question you have to ask yourself is, do you really want the players to get the best possible deal, or do you just want a hockey season this year?