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Espo weighs in

Tom Jones at the Times rambles on about the impasse between the Owners and the NHLPA... That being said, there is one set of quotes that I do have to admire...

And they are from Phil Esposito - who has been vocal and adamantly in the players corner since he entered the National Hockey League....


The sides are split by ideology, each convinced it is absolutely right and the other side is absolutely wrong. It all hinges on a salary cap. The owners must have one. The players say, "Never."

How can they get by that?

"I'm not sure they can," Phil Esposito said.

Esposito understands both sides. He has been at each end of the players' pay scale, once making the minimum as well as being the league's highest-paid player. He spent the late 1970s as president of the union, fighting owners for things such as pensions, health care, better salaries. He also has been an owner, running the Lightning through the 1990s. And, adding even more perspective, he is a former GM of the New York Rangers, a franchise blamed for sending player salaries out of control.

"Every time there has been a problem, I've backed the players," Esposito said. "Even the last time in '94, I thought the players were right. I was an owner then, but I thought the players were right.

"But, this time, for the first time in my life, I think the players are wrong, dead wrong. I don't understand why they won't accept a salary cap."

espo wasn't an owner, mind you... He was GM and he did have a vital interest in the Tampa Bya Lightning but he was never owner... That being said, I do find it strange that he happened to back the players in the 1994 strike. It was only a matter of years later he was bitching about player salaries on routinely...

Is he a hypocrit? I don't think so. George W. Bush and Karl Rove would call him a flip-flopper... Does that change the fact he's right that the Players are int eh wrong this time?

The essence of the article, however, is about what now... And that's exactly how I would like to close this post -- So, what now?

Players are adamant about no cap even though they don't seem to understand the pratfalls. Owners are adamant about a cap.

So, what now? The fans get screwed. Just like the last few months. That's what now.