War is Peace
Ignorance is Strength
Freedom is Slavery
All of the above lines are in part derived from George Orwell's 1984 which I'm reading right now. I've heard references to the book for years with the current state of politics in the United States but I hadn't really taken the time to read what Orwell wrote.
Now why the hell am I bringing up George Orwell on a hockey blog?
It occured to me that the NHLPA is a perfect example of "Ignorance si strength." I complained about Bradmaster's comments a few days ago in the St. Petersburg Times and I know i have complaied time and again about other players mouthing off - speaking straight out of their ass for that matter.
And that's just what the NHLPA wants. They mis-inform the players who do not invest the time in following negotiations up close. It's all party line. That's why the NHLPA hasn't cracked -- because they are great at the mis-information ploy. When someone mouths of, that person is dealt with swiftly and possibly harshly-- and then a comment correction/retraction is made -- and the unified picture fo the NHLPA is quickly restored.
And yet there are dissenters - those who are going behind the PA's back and complaining about what is going on - just not publicly because if you were to do that, Big Brother would stomp down on you immediately. And Agents who contemplate representing replacement players will be banned form the NHLPA to further the image of unity (by keeping agents from encouraging possible dissenters and line-crossers).
The lockout is War and the image of peace and harmony about the NHLPA is probably more false than we can know. The proposal by the owners that would allow greater freedom (earlier Free Agency and the like) is actually slavery because the open-ended salary structure would be changed. The Ignorance of the PA continues to be it's greatest strength as I wonder why would there be dissent if the players continue to keep themselves unaware of what is going on?
Big Brother will sign the best deal for you, Comrade! Trust in Big Brother! Trust in the NHLPA!