Don't let the lockout hold you down. - Mike Stobe
It's Sunday. The NHL lockout lingers. The hockey-starved visitor can discuss that, or delve into the New York Islanders prospects scattered around the globe.
The NHL lockout has interrupted so many rhythms, from the economic to the mundane. One routine that has stuttered for us at Lighthouse Hockey is the Sunday prospect report.
With the NHL void, we end up talking Islanders prospects much more often throughout the week -- from Europe to juniors to a heightened focus on AHL Bridgeport. So we've tried to avoid too much repetition while recognizing the coffee-like desire to talk "The Future" each week.
To that end, check this FanPost for a roundup of stats for current Islanders prospects and discuss away.
Meanwhile, if the lockout has angered you so much you just can't take it anymore, we present two interesting views that sum things up well: There is obviously a deal to be made, and it will probably happen when the two sides are done spiting each other and spinning their own wholesomeness to the general public who mostly does not care.
Owners want the revenue divided evenly right away. Players are content with a gradual shift away from the 57 percent they received on the last collective bargaining agreement.
That difference does not alter the reality that over the past week the NHL and NHLPA laid out proposals calling for a 50/50 split — even though Bettman said many owners wanted a more favorable percentage, and Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik said he was surprised players agreed to the ratio.
Following from afar, labor experts agree there is finally a deal to be made.
"We always say that when parties are using the same language, they are on opposite sides of the bridge, they can see where they want to go, and it’s just a matter of getting there," said Emily Town, a Downtown lawyer with Stember Feinstein Doyle Payne & Kravec.
By now, we should know spin and posturing and scare tactics when we see them, and we should know how quickly things can change. Bettman said he still hoped to play an 82-game season. His deadline remains Oct. 25 to reach a deal so a full season can start Nov. 2. Even if that deadline is not met, the odds remain that there will be some kind of abbreviated season. The sides are too close and have too much to lose. All is not lost. Yet.
Yet there is still too much BS – old grudges, negotiating tactics, PR moves – and not enough business, and until that changes, nothing else is going to change. Both sides have now made offers that at least look fair:
At this site we've poked fun at each side's grandstanding and hyperbole, but we haven't really suggested a solution. (Of course, a solution isn't our job, and we shouldn't be arsed with the task.)
But a middle ground seems fairly obvious: If about 18 teams are still losing money, then there probably needs to be a combination of less revenues devoted to players salaries and more revenues devoted to sharing among the 30 clubs so that fewer franchises lose money. It's also probably insulting for the owners to request a reduction in the HRR split and request more restrictions on contract rights (ELC's, arbitration, time to get to free agency, etc.).
How they get there isn't a creativity problem, it's an ego and greed and grandstanding problem among two sides, the owners in particular, who want to have proudly "won" this silly battle. As Cotsonika said:
Enough. Enough of the games. Enough of the too-smart solutions and strategies. Enough of the history lectures and economics lessons. Enough of the grudges and the greed.
Owners, get back to the table and find more in the players' proposals you can adopt. Players, get off your high horses and find a way to give the owners more of what they want without compromising your principles.
A resolution probably comes some time. Too much is at stake. (Though we're reminded of the risk of betting against the stupidity of NHL owners.) Until it comes, we'll keep covering other parts of the hockey world -- Ryan Strome is off to a fine start -- and we'll ask ourselves why this laughingstock league deserves any more of our attention.