You know, there's been rambling from some in the blog community about who is to blame for the lockout. HockeyBird is firmly pro-player and Tom Benjamin has been steadfastly anti-Bettman/ownership... I know there has been a strong Anti-union sentiment out there but I'm going to skip naming names and just get to my point.
You realize it's not the Players Association that is the villian of this thing?
It's the actual players.
As much as there is dirt on Gary Bettman's tenure as Commish, as much as you might want to slide blame to Owners carelessness and as much as you (and I) revile Robert Goodenow, it's not the Union or the Owners that are really to blame... Much like in politics, the sheep just follow the shepard and trust in the shepard to get the flock to the best pasture possible.
Thing is, these guys aren't sheep. Or they shouldn't be.
I've posted a few times when I get upset that players seem to be making comments out there ass about the lockout or about Ownerships tactics. Sometimes, it's Tim Taylor with the Bolts and seeing he is a player rep, I don't expect much from him but propoganda and the party line. It's when the actual players are buying this and what they are told instead of actually looking at the news (see also: Richards, Brad), actually seeing the proposals out there and judging for themselves... That's when I have a problem.
What makes it worse is how many players have run to Europe to play and hide from things and avoid the problem all together instead of getting involved in negotiations and what not. The NHLPA encourages the exodus so they (actual players) don't screw up the works and say something that could damage the PA's public facade of unity. It'd be painful if Vincent Lecavalier, Jarome Ignilia or Jaromir Jagr came out and said "That last deal was a good one and Bob Goodenow/the PA doesn't speak for me."
US politics and the last election are what this reminds me of - some people chose to remain ignorant and blindly back there party - vote Republican because lower taxes and they are moral! Vote Democrat because they care more about the commoner and the environment! That's not exploring the issues, that's not exploring the candidates, that's buying the party line and that's detrimental to the election process and the country as a whole.
And in this case it's detrimental to the NHL, the little people who work in the arenas, the cities, and the fans...
I doubt any NHL player reads this blog (but I have an inking someone may), but if you'd like to correct me -- please email me... This would remain completely off the record (as long as it remains civil discussion and / or unless you would like to be recorded on the record). I'd love to hear more from the players side isntead of what I am being fed from the propoganda perspective.
Who I fault for thing slagging are the players. Not hte PA, not ownership -- it's the players and the fact they will not get involved...