While avowed labor union opponent Dino Costa has repeatedly praised NHL commissioner Gary Bettman for his inflexibility during the league’s current suicide mission, the New York Post’s Larry Brooks is slightly more in touch with life on Planet Earth, declaring the game’s “Canceler-In-Chief” to be “the Igor Ulanov of pro sports commissioners.”
Bettman is willing to take the monumental risk of canceling yet another season as opposed to the meager rewards of limiting players to seven-year contracts and refusing transition rules that might cost NHL owners comparative pennies weighed against the cost of the second canceled season in the last eight years of his regime.
I would defy any owner to explain why the season should be canceled over the difference of one or three years in maximum contract lengths in the current proposals of the NHL and the NHLPA.
The league’s proposed contract term limits are meant to devalue free agency. The league acts as if players spent the seven seasons under the expired collective bargaining agreement fleeing small markets for big markets even as all available evidence contradicts the theory.
There is also the NHL’s take-it-or-leave-it refusal to accept transition rules regarding amnesty buyouts and the 2013-14 cap that would present clubs mechanisms with which to comply to the new CBA. Rather, the league seems intent on punishing teams that obeyed every rule in the book while spending money in attempting to build champions.