Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Bettman States his Case

Well did anyone catch Gary Bettman on CBC last night? I was pleasantly surprised to find that the questions asked, for the most part, were intelligent and were actually coming from people who had an understanding of the issues/situation. I also thought that Peter Mansbridge did a good job of not letting Bettman off the hook on most of the questions.

Bettman also did a pretty good job presenting his case. At times he was repeating himself too much(we know the numbers Gary!), but other than that I thought he presented his case well and put the ball in the NHLPA's court. In my opinion the NHL's best point, if you will, is the Arthur Levitt report and the NHLPA's dismissal of the report. The NHLPA has dismissed the report, without stating any specific reasons other than the fact that the report was commissioned by the NHL and was not independent. To me this is ridiculous. A man with Arthur Levitt's reputation is not going to put that reputation on the line for the sake of the NHL. Levitt stands behind his report but the NHLPA refuses to accept the report(or even speak with Levitt about the report). This can certainly support Bettman's statement that the NHLPA has their head in the sand.

There were a few other interesting points:

  • There IS a gag order in place for NHL clubs. Clubs can talk about their own situation however they cannot talk about what they want in a new CBA or about the CBA negotiations. Interestingly this was voted on and implemented by the board of governors and there are significant fines(Bettman did not deny the possiblity of 1 million dollar fines).
  • Gary Bettman denied the, widely reported and assumed, fact that he only needs 8 votes from the owners in order to implement his plan. This was interesting considering how the media has been continually stating this as fact.
  • Bettman rightfully dismissed the suggestion that fans should be at the bargaining table. What a ridiculous question. Can you name another industry where the consumer should have a seat at the collective bargaining table? Should beer drinkers have a seat at the table when the union and breweries have disagreements? Of course not.

Here is a CP recap of the town hall session (TSN)

NHLPA executive director Bob Goodenow will get his turn to respond tonight.

In other, rather bizarre news, the OSHL is not suspending play despite an earlier news release stating the league was suspending play. It appears the news release did not come from the league.

Full Story (TSN)

Two words: Who Cares?


PJ Swenson said...

I care.

The Canuck Fan said...

I really have to ask why you would care about a league of marginal players, playing 'shinny' hockey in front of crowds of fewer than 1500 people?

There are plenty of legitmate leagues(AHL,CHL,SEL,US College etc.) playing much better hockey. I can't imagine why anyone would miss the Original Stars(I use the term loosely) Hockey League.