Monday, October 22, 2012

Gary Bettman's 50/50 draw.

On any given night in an arena somewhere in Canada or the USA the local hockey organization is raising money through the ages old tradition of the 50/50 draw, a nice little split on the tickets sold with half going to the hockey team the other to the hockey fan.

It's been one of the foundations of fundraising for many a year and apparently it's such a great idea that even the Commissioner of the NHL has found the blueprint kind of helpful, all be it with a few modifications (the fan as always is left out of the thing) designed to try and break the stalemate in the current labour dispute.

The first tangible sign of momentum developed on Tuesday, with the NHL putting forward a proposal to the NHLPA outlining how revenue would be split on a 50/50 process, providing the league can get an agreement in place to resume hockey games by November 2nd.

The surprise announcement from mid October was released by the NHL, hoping to perhaps catch Donald Fehr off guard and shake some of the resolve of those who have employed him.

Such was the nature of the NHL's gambit that they even released the terms of their prospective deal, something that they haven't been particularly keen on in the past. And to make sure that they were perceived as "fan friendly" they even offered up some helpful "explanations", so helpful that you could almost picture Gary Bettman curled up on the couch with some milk and the storybook.

It also came as word leaked out that the NHL had brought into its arsenal of PR weapons a public relations firm with strong ties to the Republican party in the US. A development which we guess definitely makes the owners part of the 1% (as if there were ever a doubt), leaving the NHLPA to take up residence with the 99, all be it the rather well compensated section of the great unwashed.

At any rate, the proposal sat out there for a few days before Mr. Fehr offered up his own interpretation of the proposal with a few modifications, the obligatory expression of disappointment from the NHL followed and again we all return to the holding pattern.

The only thing moving forward it seems, being the number of games that have been cancelled since the lockout began.

With no particular say in the proceedings, those of us that are just fans or observers of the game are just sitting by, keeping an eye on those 50/50 tickets. Waiting to see which side has the winning numbers, more than aware, that the fans aren't even in the draw.

Until some new progress is reported here's a bit of a helpful time line for us to follow along with.

The Proposal

National Post-- League blinks, if only a little, in negotiations
National Post-- League's new offer could see games start in November
The Hockey News-- NHL proposal provides optimism
The Hockey News-- NHL offers new deal to players, hopes to end lockout and start season Nov. 2 NHL releases full proposal made to the players
Toronto Star-- A closer look at the league's offer to salvage full season

The Players respond

National Post-- NHL's rejection of counter-proposals irks players
Toronto Star-- Union head Donald Fehr cool to league's latest offer Players' rep Fehr responds to NHL offer with little enthusiasm NHL, NHLPA 'not speaking same language Crosby and fellow players miffed at NHL's quick rejection

The Fall Out Beyond

Toronto Star-- Gary Bettman shoots down player's counteroffer
Vancouver Sun-- NHL's Gary Bettman 'thoroughly disappointed' with union's proposal
National Post-- Three NHLPA counter-proposals don't rub the NHL the right way
National Post-- League, players still cannot bridge the gap
NY Daily News-- NHL union chief Don Fehr is irritating owners with his slow-motion tactics...

And we wait and we wait NHL labour solution could come from auto industry
NBC Sports-- Fehr's letter to players outlines union's three proposals, call NHL offer "take it or leave it"
Toronto Star--  Union head Donald Fehr outlines proposals in letter to players
Winnipeg Free Press-- NHL's last offer was 'take it or leave it'
National Post-- NHL beleives deal to end lockout is 'on the table'

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