In this time of loom and doom, as it seems the NHL and the NHLPA don’t want to grow up and get the new CBA rolling, we have to remain positive. Right now there aren’t any talks going on or talks scheduled that are being reported. However, that doesn’t mean that both sides aren’t taking this time to be making new proposals. Maybe they’ll come together next week after the break with new proposals, each side bending just enough to make the other happy. (In a perfect world.)
As Coach Boucher said in January, “I am not one of those people that wants to be part of the fellowship of the miserable.” I keep those words written on a piece of paper and tucked into my wallet. When I feel discouraged or frustrated, I pull it out, and I read it out loud. It never fails to make me smile and give me some encouragement, if even only for a moment.
During the last lockout that claimed the life on the entire NHL season they canceled the whole preseason from the start. This year they have only canceled part of it, so that is promising. Am I saying that it’s a definite sign that things will be done by the season’s start? Nope. I talked to several people last night, both fans and guys who work within the Lightning organization, who feel that the work stoppage will not last as long as people think. Most predict that it’ll be over by the start of the season.
That’d be great, wouldn’t it? Even with remaining positive, we have to look at the reality of the situation. They aren’t even talking. They have to talk in order to get things done. However, as I mentioned earlier, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they aren’t working behind the scenes. No one wants to miss games, no one wants to miss out on the money. They know that they are losing more fans with each day that this lockout goes on. They also know that if they don’t salvage the season, some fans will leave and not return. This is the second lockout in eight years. Both lockouts came on milestone years for Tampa. How many Lightning fans are being turned off beyond the point of no return?
I can’t image that everyone involved with the talks is booking a nice Fall vacation with their families saying ‘oh well, no season. Let’s relax.’ I’m going to choose to think that behind the cameras and quotes they are looking over their proposals, seeing what means the most to them, and what the other side is absolutely staying firm on not changing. There has got to be negotiations in the future, which means that both sides have to give in a bit. Both sides know that nothing will get done unless they do.
If the lockout does last for the season, I look at it this way. They aren’t rushing to get things done. They are taking the time to do it right this go around, so that this doesn’t happen again when the new CBA expires. If it’s going to be an agreement thrown together that no one is really happy with, then I don’t want it. The players won’t play up to their potential if they aren’t happy. The owners can’t run their business up to par if they aren’t happy. Complaining will start and things will just go downhill from there. Then when this one expires, there will be fights and another lockout. No thank you. The ‘I want everything now’ people won’t agree with me, but I say take your time and get it right. But get the process started already, please. You can have both. You can do it the right way, where both sides are content, AND have it done by the start of the regular season. Now be like Nike and ‘Just do it’.