September 13, 2012; New York, NY, USA; NHL commissioner Gary Bettman speaks during a press conference at the Crowne Plaza Times Square. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-US PRESSWIRE

Is It Break Time Already? NHL Asks for Two Week Moratorium from Negotiations

As reported by Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy on Yahoo! Sports, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman requested on Wednesday that the NHL and the NHLPA take a two week moratoriumfrom negotiations.

What…the…h-e-double hockey sticks are they playing at? They have been without a Collective Bargaining Agreement since September 15th. As of October 11th, we are already a month into what is supposed to be the Tampa Bay Lightning’s 20th Anniversary season. I have to keep telling myself, breathe…just breathe.

According to Darren Dreger over at TSN, Bill Daly is quoted as saying,

Regardless of what we propose or how we suggest to compromise the answer is “no”. At some point you have to say enough is enough. Unfortunately, we have determined we are involved with Union Leadership that has no genuine interest in reaching an agreement.”

Should this come to pass, there are three things that I can tell you for certain. First, the Lightning vs. Jets game scheduled for December 1st in Winnipeg will not happen. Second, we will have lost all opportunity to have a 70-game season. Third, and most irritating (at least for me), we will have lost our only opportunity this season to see former Lightning winger Steve Downie on our ice.

What I find funny here is that not too long ago, the League put on the table what they considered to be a very generous offer in the hope that it would preserve an 82 game season. Now, these same people are proposing that we delay the talks for two weeks, taking us all the way to December, just so that each side can go back sit down and think about what they have done. To me, it almost sounds like a parent telling an errant child to go to their room.

Personally, I don’t think the moratorium is a very bright idea. So many people have already been adversely affected by this sideshow of a lockout. Tampa Bay Lightning fans are being robbed of their 20th Anniversary season. The employees of the various venues where our great sport is played are in fear of their jobs due to a lessened work load. That’s not taking into account the revenue lost by the local businesses that benefit from the sheer foot traffic that the hockey season provides.

I have been, and to some degree still am, trying to stay positive about this whole thing. I keep telling myself that there will be hockey this season, and that at some point, I am going to see my Bolts kick ice this season. However, I am to the point that I feel like this is getting WAY out of hand.

I will concede that there is a point in time when you have to step away from the table and re-evaluate what it is that you are really fighting for, but I believe that this process should take days, not weeks. We as a hockey family have already lost too much, and it is time that both the NHL and the NHLPA need to sit down, play nice, and work this mess out.

As I’ve said before, each side wants what they want. Neither side is dancing for joy at the prospect of having to give away what they consider their piece of the pie, but at what point do you stop pointing fingers and decide that maybe, just maybe, a little concession is for the greater good.

According to Jordan Shifman at CBC Sports, there had been hope for a shortened 68-game season starting Dec. 1, but now the NHL is expected to cancel more games beyond Nov. 30 as early as the start of next week.

I am not currently in a position to effectively state who is right and who is wrong in this game of ‘He Said, They Said,’ but I can tell you that as a fan, I have had enough.

At this point in the game, do you still have hope of the season starting, or would you rather they just call it now and put us all out of our misery? Let us know below.

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