Friday, December 14, 2012

The End is Near

Fuck it. I'm done.

Na, why leave now. It's just getting interesting.

It sounds like the battle between the NHL and NHLPA is heading to the courts. This goes beyond my level of expertise. But I think the end of something is near.

Some think the court system will help end the lockout quicker. But I think there is a fundamental divide between the players and owners that doesn't show any signs of being resolved. And that's why I say this (but I'm only about half-joking when I say it).

This whole time, the two sides have shown no interest and no ability to work together to resolve their differences. They have to try to resolve the labor dispute, and they both need to sign off on it, in order for business to continue. It's kind of like a law of physics. Gravity brings/keeps objects towards/on the ground. There's no escaping it. Just like there's no escaping the fact that the NHL and the NHLPA are partners.

Oh wait, what did I just say? They're partners? Unless the NHL is going to fold, they need a collection of players to play games. It's a partnership that really can't be broken.

Maybe I'm wrong, but the two sides aren't acting like there is a real partnership here. They sound more like a couple going through a bitter divorce (fortunately, not something I know first or even second hand). On twitter, I joke a lot, but there's some truth in what I tweet.
These two sides are in a bitter fight. One that's now going to the courts. They really haven't spoken the same language during this whole thing. There have been times when they don't even agree on how to resolve their dispute (remember last week when they tried to take Gary Bettman and Don Fehr out of the picture?). It even appears that professional mediators have given up trying to help this dispute. They also got the sense that at times, they weren't wanted by one party. Some reporters (those who I trust to know what they're talking about) have said that this dispute could have been resolved long ago, or that a deal is close if they want it, but obviously, nothing has been settled.

Of course, the last two times the CBA had expired, there was a lockout (1994-95, and who can forget the non-season of 2004-05). This is a pairing that in the past 18 years (the Gary Bettman era) just hasn't worked out well. There's a bad history between these two sides.

They don't get along. They don't work together. They aren't trying to work together. Even if one side caves to save the season, or to save the start of next season, they're going to do this again when the future CBA expires. In a marriage, this is where getting a divorce is better for all parties, even if it hurts the kids (which, in this analogy, is the fans, who are hurt by all the fighting). All of this fighting is petty. Taking it to the courts with these lawsuits is even worse. And that's why I think there is even a chance, and I half-jokingly say a 15% chance (up from 12.5% just this morning and 5% in September) that the league never plays another game, and the two sides go their separate ways.

The end is near.

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