Ah, remember last season at this time when we were all super pumped about the Kings, waiting in hopeful anticipation of a possible playoff berth and not having to see the head coach get fired. Memories, y'all.
Oh yeah, NHL team training camps start in a month and a half too. Have you made travel arrangements yet?
Anyway, that's not why you're reading this. You've come for the latest in collective bargaining excitement! WOOOO!!!!
As always, begin by checking out the Globe and Mail to get an idea on where the talks stand.
Our own Princeton grad/fisticuffs expert Kevin Westgarth weighs in with his take on a (gulp) possible lockout. Read on for the latest info.
If you will recall, the NHL just gave the NHLPA 76,000 pages of financial information to sift through less than two months before the September 15th expiration date of the current CBA. That's a lot of reading. Good thing player representative Kevin Westgarth went to Princeton, where they know a little something about reading. The Kings' own enforcer extraordinaire is gonna get real with you, whether you like it or not:
"Generally, like the fans, we are concerned about – I think everyone has a little post-traumatic stress from last time," Westgarth said, referring to the lockout and missed season of 2004-05, when the union lost the battle and eventually agreed to the salary cap in place today. "It is something (where) they locked us out last time. It's foreseeable for them to lock us out again. So guys obviously want to play, but obviously we need to get the right deals together, as well."
On the other side of the equation, Bettman feels "frustrated" claiming the players are "dragging their feet."
We have entered the 'bickering to the media' stage. Who is to blame? Only you can decide. Pick a side.
John Fontana of SB Nation's Tampa Bay Lightning blog has chosen the side of the players. His claim is that the owners have the money, now they want the power. Total control. Remember, in this sport, you gotta make the money first. Then when get the money, you get the power. Then when you get the power, then you get the women. My guess is Philip Anschutz is the Tony Montana of sports team ownership.
Is a divide forming between owners of the richest clubs and owners of the poorest clubs on the issue of revenue sharing? If you like the NHL, you better hope not. As the article philosophizes:
Can you imagine the wealthiest NHL teams agreeing to give up more of their revenue when they don't want to give up the little they do now?
Here's one: What if the NHL locks out only because we, like, accept it as an inevitability, man. Cosmic.
Now, here's the MUST READ ARTICLE of the week.
Oh, hello again, David Shoalts. What are you writing about this time? Escrow? Oh yeah, the players don't like that at all. Nope, not one bit. Mr. Shoalts defines this system for the laypeople, but basically this is the amount of money that comes out of the players' pay checks to support the league. The owners like this, because this doesn't come out of their coffers. Thus, we have a difference of opinion.
Also, fun fact about David Shoalts: Coyotes fans hate him. Just the kind of trivia you can only find here at Jewels From the Crown.
So, what say you, now that you are a well-read collective bargaining expert? When will this be over? Will we have a season? If you don't know, just take an educated guess.
No whammies. No whammies...