Why Mr. Anderson?

Why Mr. Anderson?Why do you keep fighting Mr. Anderson? Because I choose to.

I just still don´t get the players point of view. How on earth do they want to "win" this? What is their goal? And why are they willing to loose tens of millions now and possibly hundreds of millions in the future to achieve it? They would have lost much much less by accepting NHL offer 4 weeks ago than what they are risking by prolonging this insanity. 

Let´s hope we will get some answers today, when NHLPA is expected to finally bring in some real proposal to negotiations with NHL, proposal which should significantly close the gap still dividing both sides – otherwise, whole 2012-13 season will be another step closer to being cancelled entirely.

This is not about Bettman. He does only what owners want him to do. 23 owners have to approve anything within the Board of Governors of NHL. If any 8 owners didn´t agree with the deal, there is no deal. So the players are expecting they will break at least 23 owners to accept their conditions. 23 owners have to need the season to start so badly, they will approve possible deal with NHLPA more in the players favor than what they already offered.  N O T - G O N N A - H A P P E N !

Not when 17 teams were loosing money last year - what motivation do they have to continue loosing money again? Love of the game? Satisfied fans? One can hope. The truth is, owners have zero motivation to offer any more offsets to the PA. They have two options - playing under their own conditions or don´t play at all. 1st of them is obviously a win for them, the 2nd is no big loss either. They CAN afford to wait. Playing under conditions currently demanded by the PA is not an option for them - at this time, They certainly do not need the season to start so badly.

Any future revenue setback caused by angry fans and sponsors will be only a temporary one, and they know it very well. Fans will sooner or later come back and so will sponsors.

Players also have two options right know - playing under league conditions or don´t play at all. Yes, they are still dreaming about third option - playing under their own conditions, but this equals option "don´t play at all". If they didn´t learn anything from last lockout, they probably deserve to repeat the lesson.

They already lost more money than they would have, if NHL offer from October that could have saved complete season was accepted. They are loosing more and more money each passing day - money they will never see again. The result will be only worse for them - regardless of when the agreement will be reached and how the new CBA will look like. They have already lost.

And what´s the point? Protecting the "rights" of handfull of stars to sign 10+ years long, back diving contracts? It is hard to imagine that for all these Matt Hunwicks, Cody McLeods etc, its so important to become an UFA 1 yr sooner or to have right to sign 5+ year long back diving deal, etc, that they are willing to sacrifice significant amount of money to keep these "rights"... These points can be relevant resp. important for how many of NHLPA members? 5%? 10%?

So why are they keep fighting? Are they dumb? Are they stubborn? Are they too proud? Or are they brainwashed by Donald Fehr? And what is HIS goal in all this? His own victory over NHL or victory for his clients – best possible new CBA as soon as possible?

It more and more reminds me now the final fighting scene from Matrix Revolutions and Neo´s discussion with agent Smith:

- Why, Mr. Anderson? Why do you do it? Why get up? Why keep fighting? Do you believe you're fighting for something? For more than your survival? Can you tell me what it is? Do you even know? Is it freedom? Or truth? Perhaps peace? Could it be for love? Illusions, Mr. Anderson. You must be able to see it, Mr. Anderson. You must know it by now. You can't win. It's pointless to keep fighting. Why, Mr. Anderson, Why? Why do you persist?

- Because I choose to

NHLPA too so far choosed to keep fighting. Only difference is, that even if they managed to destroy each other like Neo and Smith in the famous movie, this matrix of theirs cannot be reloaded again without Smiths (owners). But guess what? It can be easily reloaded without Mr. Neo NHLPA Anderson... This fight of theirs really is pointless, with absolutely no hope for any kind of victory.

Brian May of Queen offers a solid advice for the players in the Hammer To Fall song : 

What the hell we fighting for ?
Ah, just surrender and it won't hurt at all


Probably best solution now for the players would be to accept all proposed contracting issues in exchange for all current contracts being 100% honored. It certainly wouldn´t hurt them at all.


Peter Macák, Slovakia, petrik441@gmail.com
21/11/2012 - 14:30


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