The players made out like bandits after the last CBA. Yes, the league was healthy. In large part, because of the salary cap that allowed parity and revenue sharing for the weaker teams. And the players benefited immensely. Record revenues, record salaries and contracts. The players in no way, shape or form suffered from the last CBA.
Also remember that the league wanted to start negotiating in the spring. Fehr refused to start negotiating until September, just days before training camp was supposed to start.
I don't like Bettman. I don't like his failed experiments with hockey in non-traditional markets and his stubborn refusal to admit that hockey in Phoenix, for example, just doesn't work. But I like Fehr and his tactics even less.
The players are not equal business partners. Every single expense is covered by the owners. Again, full medical benefits, in fact better than anything a normal working person gets. A player gets a little boo-boo and get taken straight to the hospital for an MRI while normal people here in some parts of the country are on waiting lists for months. All travel and lodging expenses covered by the owners. State of the art fitness facilities. All covered by the owners. And multi-million dollar salaries. No. They're are not equal partners. They are extremely coddled employees. And while they are 'product', players come and players go. While some fans follow individual players, most fans follow teams. Players get traded, they retire and the teams and the game goes on.
Rob Hal wrote:
Personally, I think both sides share a lot of the blame for the current grim situation. But I have to agree with the poster above who commented that Fehr is a real problem. He really is. I don't like Bettman very much, but I do think he has an interest in seeing that the sport is healthy. Fehr's only concern is getting everything for the players, regardless of the cost otherwise. Fehr refuses to compromise; he wants Bettman and the BoG to come to him begging for a season.
Hey Rob, thanks for backing me up. Since we're in the same city I'd suggest watching some games together but... damn, there aren't any.