Yesterday, the NHL announced that they were canceling "the schedule" of games through October 24th. This is a little bit of semantics, saying that if something gets done soon, those games could still be rescheduled. Please note: nothing is going to get done, those games are gone.
This, of course, set off a stream of stories form every replacement journalist, and even those regular journalists that spend their days doing nothing but raising money for charities. We could use some of that hard work at DTBL, if anyone wants to do it. (Sorry, Tom.) These stories led to emails to the league looking for comment, which led to Uncle Fester doing the rounds and trying to talk to everyone who would listen, before he finally just released a statement through the league and went back into hiding.
Most likely perfecting the art of powering light bulbs with his mouth.
That statement can be found on the NHL's website, and reads as follows:
"We were extremely disappointed to have to make today's announcement. The game deserves better, the fans deserve better and the people who derive income from their connection to the NHL deserve better.
"We remain committed to doing everything in our power to forge an agreement that is fair to the players, fair to the teams and good for our fans.
"This is not about 'winning' or 'losing' a negotiation. This is about finding a solution that preserves the long-term health and stability of the League and the game.
"We are committed to getting this done."
I told all of you that if regular season games were canceled, the bitterness was going to rise to new levels. We're there. So let's do this. Hockey Wilderness style.
We were extremely disappointed to have to make today's announcement.
Right. Sure you are. So disappointed that you reached out to the PA to schedule some talks, right? No? Oh. Well, I'm sure it's one of those "two to tango" things. I mean, lord knows that if the Deputy Commissioner went on the record saying that he had called the NHLPA, and the PA said no, that wouldn't be a story that might swing the public opinion at all.
I bet Uncle Fester called the PA, and was rebuffed. Probably wouldn't even take his phone call. The PA probably took his chocolates, too. Jerks.
Or is it that you needed to patronize the fans again? After all, it's been a couple days since you mentioned how great we all are. I bet you're disappointed, Unkie Fester. I bet you went home tonight and were just in a complete funk around your family, and could barely function due to the grief you were feeling over canceling the games. Surely, your extended family and friends were called in from far and wide to ensure that you were taken care of.
Sure, Unkie. Sure they were. I can only imagine that you are so distraught that you need someone to hold your hand while you cry your way through a pint of Rocky Road.
The game deserves better, the fans deserve better and the people who derive income from their connection to the NHL deserve better.
On this we agree. However, I think we both may have different definitions of what "better" means. The game deserves better than Commissioner Gru and his quest to steal the moon. The game deserves better than three lockouts, one that cost a full season, and another on the way to the same result. The game deserves better than a management group who insults the other side of the table and then expects anything except a middle finger in return.
The fans deserve better than to be patronized at every turn. They deserve better than to have a league that sees them as nothing but dollar signs. The fans deserve better than to be told they matter, then to be completely shut out from (for far too many) the only real form of entertainment they want. They deserve better than to have poured their heart and soul into this game, only to have the rug pulled out from under them while being coddled and used as a punchline.
The people who derive income from their connection to the NHL do, in fact, deserve better. They also deserve to have not been an after thought in the process. The NHL never mentioned this group until after the media, and sites full of charity hating replacement journalist, like this one, made that connection for you. You're welcome, dear Uncle Fester, for bringing that to your attention. Of course, the economy will just transfer those jobs instantaneously to waitresses and bartenders near, I suppose, the crowd about to flock to the opera and fashion shows.
We remain committed to doing everything in our power to forge an agreement that is fair to the players, fair to the teams and good for our fans.
Committed? That's exactly what you should be. Nut job. You have it in your power to make a deal. The deal the PA presented isn't perfect, but the public opinion says it is a better place to work from, and it seems from my point of view (please make your jokes about my background which you know nothing about below) to be the most realistic view. But hey, it's out of your hands, right?
Fair to the players? You could not give less of a shit about what is fair to the players, nor could they care what is fair to the league, so your "fair to the teams" is out the window. And fair to the fans? Screw you. Fair to the fans is putting hockey back on the ice and for you and your boss to be out of work. I'm sure there are plenty of NHL fans that can help you fill out the unemployment paperwork, you pompous douche wagon.
Life isn't fair, Unkie. Quit the "fair" bullshit and get to work. You know what would be "fair?" $20 maximum ticket prices and free hot dogs for the next three years to make up for the shit you pulled here. Think that's going to happen? Nope. To quote Dennis Leary, "Life sucks. Wear a helmet."
Shove your "fair" BS where the sun doesn't shine, Unkie. Life is hard, life hands you cards you can't bet with. Screw "fair," and work with "what gets it done," shall we?
This is not about 'winning' or 'losing' a negotiation.
Uh-huh. Sure it isn't. That's why we're canceling games and not playing them. That's why fans are looking around, wondering what to do with their time. That's why this site has little to nothing to write about. Because this isn't about egos and who gets to be right. Just like when my daughter tells me she didn't eat the cookies, but has chocolate all over her face. We aren't stupid, Fester. Quit treating us like we are.
You and your boss want to win. The PA wants to win. Screw anyone who tells us otherwise.
This is about finding a solution that preserves the long-term health and stability of the League and the game.
Look, I have a fairly advanced degree in a field closely related to public relations. This is what I do. Let me translate this for you. What this says is "This is about finding a way to maximize profits, without looking like a bunch of horses' asses in the process."
Record revenues for as long as the current CBA has been in place. Unless you are willing to tell me that a bunch of guys who made billions in other business ventures don't know how to turn record numbers on the top line into record numbers on the bottom line, we have nothing to discuss here. If you are trying to tell me that is the case, then your league will never be healthy, and you should just make a deal and get on with it.
And save the jet fuel shit. We aren't buying that, either.
We are committed to getting this done.
Which is great, except that you haven't made any efforts to get it done. This is not that difficult. Sit down, go 50-50, can the rest of the stupid ass demands you made of the PA, and call it done.
No one cares about what you have to say, Uncle Fester. All it does is give the replacement and non-replacement journalists something to put on their sites (you can bet this doesn't end up in many papers), and gives the fans more reason to hate you.
I have an honest to goodness suggestion. Shut your damn mouth until you have something productive to say. Not another fucking word until you step up the podium to announce that a CBA is signed and the games are ready to start. Until you have a date and a time for me to show up for a game, I don't need to see you or your troll looking boss in front of a camera again.
And damn it, where are my chocolates?