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Monthly Archives: November 2012

Lead or follow: there’s no getting out of the way for NHL owners

It was 1979.  I was in a diner with my parents.  The paper place mat in front of me had “1979” in one corner, “1980” in another.  Staring at that, I realized it would soon be 1980, it would never be 1979 again.  It gave me a chill, realizing how time is a one-way street, inexorable.

I wish I could put that place mat or one like it in front of the CBA negotiators.  Retirements, injuries, even deaths do not wait, will not be held in suspended animation for the owners to get their butts off the stage, out of the fast-dimming limelight, and let the real stars take their places.  The NHL spokespeople, flanked by the owners, a gagged chorus of mimes, this is a poor substitute for the NHL spectacle.  While they bicker and pout, the real players are performing elsewhere, or just not.

(more…)

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How to listen to a hockey game

This isn’t some snarky fan behavior piece.  It is not beautiful, it is not comprehensive, but it should be enough to get someone started who hasn’t had any luck before.

Not all teams broadcast all games.  Some college teams broadcast them, and you can usually find information about that on their team website.  But most of the time one team or the other will broadcast a play by play.  I haven’t recently gone to find a game I wanted to hear and failed, except for this season’s AHL Phantoms.  For no reason I can identify, they don’t have their audio feed linked to the AHL schedule page.  That said, when I first started following development leagues, I didn’t think it was so easy.  Some links are less obvious than others.

Anyway, here you go: (more…)

Dumping Mr. Big, wildcat negotiations continue

(Originally published at Kukla’s Korner, October 31, 2012)

Despite lack of evident progress in major league negotiations, hockey goes on.  Sure, we can expect the Winter Classic to be cancelled tomorrow, but that hardly qualifies as progress.  It represents a big loss for the sport and the league, but I don’t know who believed the NHL was going to get out of this lockout without taking heavy losses.  Well, there was that one guy… Anyway, tough deal for Detroit and those Canadians who were looking forward to having a Canadian team in that game.  The catch to those losses is that however much money some teams lost under the old CBA, they can apparently afford to lose more.

@PollakOnSharks: “So, @RattoCSN, if it isn’t about the product (and not arguing), this more about egos or some sort of collective economic suicide mission?”

May they lose to their heart’s content– not my problem. (more…)

Odds and ends and a kitten

(Originally published at Kukla’s Korner, October 23, 2012)

I caught a wild kitten last week.  The folks at the animal shelter said he is just a couple weeks too old to be tamed.  I said what the heck, the Sharks are locked out, the Bulls are on the road, I’ll give it a try anyway.  As I sat there with the three pound feline cornered, petting his back gently, trying to make purring sounds, I wondered if I could find a parallel between this process and the NHL CBA negotiations.  I got stuck on who is the tiny cat and who is the busy-body human.

Of course, neither side qualifies as a completely helpless, fearful little thing.  And both sides understand what they need the other for.  The kitten doesn’t understand that making friends with people can double his life span and reduce stress dramatically.  It is a poor comparison.  Still, I will be keeping track of our relative progress, and I suspect my negotiations will end before the NHL’s, even with the multi-year head start they have on me.  Really, this is all stuff they should have been thinking about ever since the last time they did this.  I concluded that the CBA negotiations are less like a rapprochement and more like two lions fighting over a kill.   They are not concerned with making friends.  Ironically, they aren’t even that hungry. (more…)