I generally like to stick to politics on this blog because, as Stephen Harper says, it’s a slippery slope. One day I talk about music, the next day sports, the next day you’re getting weather reports (5 bellow and snowy) and men are marrying their toasters. But, I’ll quickly mention in passing how Gary Bettman and Bob Goodenow are ruining a lot more in Canada than any offshore oil deal ever could.
The fact that the two sides were a mere 6.5 million apart but couldn’t make a deal is mind-boggling. The fact is, with the roll back, only 7 teams would qualify under a 42 million dollar cap. Surely they could have met in the middle at 45 million and tweaked out the details, right? I know these negotiations are a bit more complex than federal/provincial talks where the head waiter, err, Prime Minister, basically cuts a deal to give the provinces whatever they want, but still. With only 6 or 7 teams in cap range, the 3 million each side would have to give means we’re talking about 20 million dollars. Do the two sides even have a remote idea of the damage that will be done to the league by canceling a season? We’re talking about a 30% drop in revenue when the league gets going again, bare minimum. That works out to a lot more than 30 million dollars. It’s become all about crushing the other side and claiming victory, rather than working out a fair deal everyone can live with. Now, we’re going to get replacement players, court challenges, and maybe even the players trying their own league.
Blame the owners, blame the players…it doesn’t realty matter. Both sides have been completely pig-headed this entire time. The fact that they waited until February to start real negotiations, 48 hours before the season was to be cancelled tells you the nature of this dispute.
And, in honour of Gary and Bob, since I feel I should throw something political into the discussion, I present, in my humble opinion, the five greatest blood feuds in Canadian political history:
1. Pierre Trudeau vs Rene Levesque: Two political titans who squared off on the very existence of the country.
2. John A MacDonald vs Louis Riel: They probably never met, but anyone who has ever taken a Canadian History course knows all about them. I swear, Louis Riel and the Manitoba School crisis are all history textbooks seem to know about this country's history.
3. Jean Chretien vs Paul Martin Jr: The best rivalry of this generation. The weird thing is, they worked great together in government.
4. Dalton Camp vs John Diefenbaker: Heck, in Diefenbaker’s mind everyone was his rival.
5. Mackenzie King vs Lord Byng: If you thought Adrienne Clarkson got criticized a lot…
Feel free to add some more in the comments section…we aren’t going to see Oilers/Flames or Habs/Leafs this year so we may have to settle for McGuinty/Martin and Brison/MacKay.