No Sympathy

6 Nov

Waiting for the NHL to start up again is almost as unbearable as it is listening to the Players talk about the CBA. So help me God if I have to endure another sub-25 year old millionaire with a bullshit grade 12 education talk about what’s fair then I just might go postal.

I get that Math isnt their strong suit. Hell, it isnt mine either. When I was in University I filled my required “Math” credits with Symbolic Logic. So I avoided the calculator too. It didnt give me an excuse to confuse 57% with 50%, but if somebody asks me something beyond the basics I can always throw my hands up in the air citing my two Arts Degrees. These guys, on the other hand, are infuriatingly bad at both logic AND math. For people given the opportunity to earn more money in one year than the average person earns in a lifetime, we should really expect more from them.

What the players think is “Fair” can only be described as “Insane” by the rest of the world. They want contracting rights that allow them to circumvent Salary Cap restrictions, lower and lower free agency, the ability to negotiate No Trade Clauses that give them 100% of the power in club, and a bevy of other things that serve only one purpose. That purpose: To benefit only themselves so the horrors of being a professional athlete and a millionaire can be off-set.

Give me a fucking break. I have no sympathy for players. They can be traded, sent down to the minors, benched, and cut. Their careers can be extremely brief on their own and cut short due to injury at any time. Do I give a shit? Not a single one. They are compensated greatly just for playing a child’s game, and that’s just what the Owners give them. After the owners come the endorsements to line their pockets. Is there a fringe NHL player in the league that isnt doing an ad for their local Ford dealership? And the good players are getting much more than that. I cant watch a hockey game (when they are actually played) without seeing Sidney Crosby shill for Tim Hortons and Ovechkin sell me a Mr. Big. Why should I ever feel like these guys are getting the short end of the stick?

The Edmonton Oilers have been here my whole life, and while ownership might have been a bone of contention in the mid 90’s it isnt anymore. The EIG ownership saved the Oilers from leaving Edmonton. Without them I wouldnt even have a team to cheer for. Their mission was heroic and they succeeded greatly at keeping the Oilers viable. It was done at a time when Edmonton’s desirability to the PLAYERS was at an all time low. The players didnt want to be here. They didnt want ME cheering them. Hell, so many players left Edmonton for more money and better climates that after a while we (the fans) just took it for granted that our best players would be gone the minute they became UFAs. Some didnt even wait until free agency to get the hell out of Dodge. The name Chris Pronger still gets the back up around here. There again is another example of the Player not caring about the Fans one bit. The guy played in a real hockey market for the first time in his life, got the love and attention of real hockey fans (maybe that was the problem), and bolted the second it was convenient for him.

That’s the way the Players treat the fans in today’s NHL. Why should I feel bad for them? Why dont I want the Owners to be stable and making money? It’s their damned business. They have the right to make money. NHL teams are losing money by the bucket load out there. Florida is a mess, Dallas is a mess, San Jose, Columbus, Nashville: these teams are money losing ventures for the owners that shelled out 100’s of millions to purchase them. That doesnt even cover the train wreck called the Phoenix Coyotes.

The Owners have done more for me than the players have based on longevity alone. Long after this current crop of Oilers has retired there will be an owner in Edmonton providing a team for my children to watch, or at least there will be if the NHL gets what it needs in the new CBA.

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