Tuesday, May 31, 2005

 

Factions

Everyone should check out Bob McKenzie's latest on TSN. Bob is a great writer and it is a great story describing the fact that the NHLPA is in factions currently. This is true, in fact it always has been true, but as Bob notes in the story there are players that want this done yesterday and players that fell this deal is going to kill them and want to wait it out for the owners to fold. To think that 700 people agree on how to do this, especially after losing a year's salary, would be ridiculous.

These two factions have existed since even before the lockout, the difference with what is going on currently is the Executive Committee was more set on waiting the owners out.

Among the players ranks there have always been three factions.

The Goodenow Group. These players were willing to wait as long as it took to get a deal done. These guys are very loyal and feel they owe it to Bob to stick with him. Remember, Bon has made alot of them alot of money so their loyalty isn't blind or unfounded. This group has a deep distrust for Gary Bettman. I know of at least twenty of these guys (there are about 50 I believe), and Bob keeps them informed and they pass the word around to the third group very effectively.

The "Get the Best Dealers" Group. These are the players that knew a cap was needed all along, realized the NHL was in trouble financially. If the good times were to continue with players making on the average of over a million dollars they would have to take a step back to move two steps forward. They read the Levitt Reports, and although they questioned some of the details of the findings they believed the overall picture. I know of about 60 of these guys personally, and I know who many of the others are...I would guess prior to the season getting cancelled there were about 100 of these guys.

The last group, which prior to the season being cancelled was about 600, is the silent majority of players who although they have strong opinions one way or the other don't really voice them. After the season was cancelled a few of these guys joined each group, but it wasn't until after it became apparent they could lose another year that these players jumped on board the second group in large numbers.

It is the second group, joined by the new group that has brought us to the verge of a new CBA. That and Trevor Linden's ability to communicate their feeling to the Exec Com.

So now, fast forward to where we are on this last day of May. Virtually all the players and owners I talk aren't willing to miss another game due to the lockout. That being said there are some big issues still out there. Are there any "deal breakers?" It is uncertain, but I have yet to find any...there is much negotiation left...We are at a critical point in these talks right now. The odds are greater than ever that a deal gets done in the next two weeks, but until it is done...it isn't.

I will be turning over rocks today and trying to find out anything I can.

NEW CHATROOM: There is a new chatroom now that will better serve us. I will be holding my daily chats at the following address...

http://www.hockeychatter.com/chattalk.shtml

Usually chat will be at 4pm ET. Today, I will be holding a chat today at noon ET. For now we are attempting to make this a a place where do not need to register to come to the chatroom. However, spammers will have their ip's banned, and if it gets out of hand we will go to registration only. There is also a unique chatroom for those of you who have joined the insider group, where I will e-mail you throughout the course of the day to set up spontaneous chats when things break.



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