Sunday July 13, 2014


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How the NHL uses voicemail to kill dreams

Friday Forecheck

Is the NHL a joke?

From Thursday’s disappointing and almost disgusting breakdown of talks between the NHL and NHLPA, it’s starting to look that way.

It all started when, to everyone’s surprise, Gary Bettman apparently didn’t find it important enough to show up to Thursday’s meeting alongside NHLPA’s executive director Donald Fehr and a large group of NHL players.

That was a bad sign of things to come, despite some optimism from Fehr early on in the day that had fans believing there was light at the end of the terrible, dark and noxious tunnel.

Then the tunnel caved in.

When the news broke that the NHL rejected the NHLPA’s latest offer, one that Fehr said was a “clear outline” to end the labour dispute, all hell broke loose, and whatever hope there was for a full NHL season died with something so ridiculous that you’d think it was a scene from Sex and the City – a voicemail message.

That’s right, after not even bothering to show up to Thursday’s collective bargaining agreement talks, the NHL’s Bill Daly decided to tell Fehr and the players that they rejected their offer with a voicemail message.

Bettman might as well have used a Post-It note (remind anyone of Berger from Sex and the City?)

“We have been advised in a voice mail message that the moves the players made were not acceptable; there was no reason to stay around tonight or tomorrow; that they would be in touch. And that something/everything is off the table,” Fehr said. “We don’t know what that means."

Join the rest of us, Donald.

We’re all just sitting here waiting for the NHL to cancel the rest of the 2012/13 season. During the last lockout in 2004 that didn’t happen until mid-February, but at this point, after that lockout, not many fans want to wait that long.

They’re getting fed up and are tired of getting their hopes up whenever talks go well – which this time around means both parties left on speaking terms.

Just cancel the season, Bettman, and let NHL fans move on. Give us closure and a reason to go on with the rest of our lives until you, your minions – I mean owners – and the players can come to an agreement.

Leave us out of it and don’t address the media until you have something to say other than, “We’re at a standstill.”

We’ve stopped caring. We’ve checked out.

All we ask is, when you do cancel the season, don’t do it by Post-It note.

Or voicemail.



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