The View From Wisconsin

Just a random set of rants from a Sports Fan from Wisconsin.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Black Friday

It appears that today, February 4, 2005, will be the day that lives in sports infamy.

Probably sometime today, after the National Hockey League and its Players Association are done meeting with each other over a proposal for a new CBA that they cannot agree upon, the NHL will announce that the 2004-05 season is cancelled.

That report came from ESPN's E.J. Hradek, via an "unnamed owner." Who that owner is, we don't know. Bettman would probably have a major hissy fit if he found out who it was - unless, of course, it was part of an orchestrated plan to try to force the union into capitulating. Like the Board of Governor's meeting of late last month.

The truth is, there is exactly one line in the "framework" the NHL put forth on Tuesday that the players can't abide by: the line restricting salaries to between 53-55% of league revenues. With the owners insisting on limits on player compensation, the PA doesn't even want to go any further.

It's too bad, too, because the two sides are close on most of the other issues. Unfortunately, they're as close as the North Rim of the Grand Canyon is to the South Rim. You're in the same state, on a clear day you can see the other side - but you might as well be on different sides of the planet.

This is, to paraphrase Don McLean, "the day that hockey died."

I hope something happens before it's all over, that one side decides to change its position "for the good of the game."

But I'm not holding my breath.