‘Welcome’ reads the freshly painted stairs to the entrance of the Tampa Bay Times Forum. Unfortunately, that’s not exactly true. As we head into December, I was hoping that we’d be seeing hockey by now. For sure the Avalanche game so we could see our Downie again.
With the stubbornness of both the league and the union, nothing is getting done. Nothing will get done. Period. While they have only officially canceled games through middle December and the All Star Game weekend, I don’t see an end to this lockout in the Lightning’s 20th Anniversary season. Not with the attitudes that they have. Both sides want something that the other’s are willing to give. One side bends on an issue, the other side demands more.
I’m not saying whether I personally side with the players or the union. I’m not sure I side with just one. Not all of the owners are alike, just as not all of the players are alike. While one might be willing to give in, there are stronger voices to over ride them. Rumor has it that a newer team owner was told to sit down and be quiet by an owner of one of the ‘big teams’, that they had no place talking at the table because the other owners had been there longer and had earned more money. That until he held those same credentials his thoughts weren’t welcome. I’m not naming names, though I read it on more than one site. With that kind of bullying mentality, NOTHING will EVER get accomplished.
There are a handful of owners running this show, and they are bullies. They want to sign these long contracts for ridiculous amounts of money, and then cry that they don’t have the money to pay the players. They want the current contracts voided. The last time I looked, a contract was a legally binding agreement between two or more consenting adults. This whole situation has me so fed up, I’m ready to just say ‘ya know what guys? I will just see you next Fall.’ -However now they are starting to speculate on if they can come to terms by next season. My prediction is that this season is lost, but they will get things together in time for us to be cheering on our Bolts next October. I do hope I’m wrong, and a miracle will happen. A miracle that they come to a mutual understanding and we see hockey in 2013. Watch them sign the agreement, and be set to start hockey on December 21st, and the world end. Ha! (No, I don’t honestly believe that the world is ending. I promise you that I will post up an article on December 22nd, and you will be able to log in and read it.)
After all, this is the season for miracles, isn’t it?
I do want to clarify that I do not blame the Lightning’s owner Jeff Vinik for any of this. I have absolutely no idea what goes on behind closed doors, but I could never boycott anything Lightning. I love my team. I love the owner and I love the players on it. I have the utmost respect for Mr. Vinik, Mr. Leiweke, Mr. Griggs, and the whole organization.