Tuesday, May 17, 2005

 

"Absolutely Vital"

This week is vital. "Absolutely Vital" according to a top NHL source.

I spent the entire day on my cell phone yesterday, talking to some of the top people in the sport.

This is the deal. The players will be playing in October. They have to play. They have had it with this process, not playing because of some principle...forget about it. They want to play. They worked their lives for this. They sacrificed much to get to where they were. Yes they make great money, but every time they go into the corner to forecheck or skate with their head down through the neutral zone they do so at great risk. One hit could cost their family millions. They make all the money they can in a short/tenuous period of time and hope that money last their lifetime for their families. And many don't make it all to the NHL. The ones who do know the ones who don't and what becomes of them.

So the players are putting the pressure on the PA in numbers that has not been seen before. Every person I talked to said the same thing. "The players are sticking with Bob, but they are very nervous for themselves." The players trust Bob, and if he is to live up to that trust he needs to get a deal done and get it done NOW. The deadline is not September like Bob has been rumured to be telling people in private. The deadline is NOW... It actually was April 1.

"April, May, June, July is our selling season. We are already six weeks behind." An NHL source said...

A long-time respected hockey person said this, "If they expect to settle in September without any sponsors, no ESPN, no tickets sold, then we will have a season, but it will be a season that will be as damaging to the sport as not having a season at all. If they don't settle by June 15th I know alot of people that work in the sport that are going to bail out. It just isn't worth it anymore."

That feeling was echoed by one the sports more respected writers. "I hate to say it, but now that season that "would have been" is over this is less about the fans for the time being , and more about the people who depend on this sport to support their families. Every where I turn people are deciding whether or not they are going to move on or not. The ones who work in the sport now begrudgingly stuck it out, but if these talks break down people are out....people who the sport won't be able to replace."

Another source, "Have you noticed how the PA has not said "no progress" or "philosophical differences" in quite some time? There is a belief that if the PA shows any signs of backwards progress this tenuous hold that they have will erupt into an inferno."

So this week is indeed vital...stay tuned...

PS. This would be a great week to become an insider for only $10...join in the upper left and get the info first and some extra info that can't be put on the blog. Credit Card or Paypal accepted...thank you!



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