NHL Lockout 2012: Frustration Building?

So we are roughly one week into the NHL’s lockout of the NHLPA.  We sense that there is some frustration building as the two sides have yet to meet for a quality bargaining session since talks broke off.  This is bargaining?  I think people give both Donald Fehr and Gary Bettman a little too much respect and faith.  And as with any labor negotiation frustration is already starting to build.  We have already discussed a sample of NHL hockey experiences that fans will miss due to the lockout.  However it looks like frustration is not only building with the fans but with players and hockey media as well.

Here are but a few comments from around the Web on the NHL lockout.

Alex Ovechkin: “If our salaries get slashed, I’ll have to think about whether to return to NHL,” Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin told a Russian news agency on Wednesday, prior to making his KHL return with Dynamo Moscow Thursday.

Scott Hartnell:  “I’m disappointed,” Hartnell told CourierPostOnline.com Monday. “You’d think you’d be able to put your differences aside and help one of your players’ charities.” re: Orders from the NHL league office, certain members of the Flyers’ front office were forced to skip the charity event or risk a fine.

Kevin Bieksa:  “The problem isn’t with us, making too much, it’s them overpaying guys and creating their own problems.”

Bobby Orr:  “I know what I’d do with them,” Orr said of NHLPA head Donald Fehr and league commissioner Gary Bettman, with a smile. “I’d put them in a room with bread and water and say, ‘Now you stay in there until you make a deal.  It would be outrageous not to have season,” said Orr, who believes a new CBA will be signed sooner rather than later. “I do think a fair deal can be made.”

Mike Modano: In a post from Sportsnet.ca, Modano, estimates the last lockout cost him more than $7 million in salary by sitting out a year. To him, the payoff wasn’t worth the sacrifice.  “In hindsight, it wasn’t worth it,” he told ESPN The Magazine for a story gauging former players’ opinions of the last lockout. “It was a waste of time. We thought we were stronger than we were. We started falling apart as the months clicked by.”  Modano also states that there is a lack of urgency to proceed with negotiations.

Mark Messier:  “I’m disappointed that we’re in another lockout… We’ve got to figure out a way to bridge the gap in the trust area. There’s been a big problem with that for a long time. It just seems like every time we build some good momentum, we get back to this…”

Jarome Iginla: “Even though I didn’t agree with it last time, you could see their point. This time, I don’t… It’s like Gary enjoys battling, enjoys the argument…  We’ve got to get it fixed. Fans have been very good in the past, and we can’t just rely they’ll come back strong. I know I would be ticked off.”  More from Iginla.

For or against Bettman excerpt from Sportsnet Magazine.

As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, Marc Spector has had excellent coverage of all sides of the lockout.  We recommend reading a couple of his most recent posts including:

NHL Lockout 2012: Put up or shut up – Spector writes: “Look at the bright side, season ticket holders. You don’t have to get ripped off by your local NHL club by being forced to pay full price for pre-season games.  Take that money and do something that doesn’t involve paying top dollar for a concept that, by its nature, delivers far less than top entertainment. Or if you enjoy the NHL’s pre-season extortionist tactics, grab the wife, slap down a couple of $100 bills at the ticket wicket of your local Junior A team, and tell them to keep the change.

Players have more to lose – The owner’s wine cellar will not go unstocked during this lockout.

Spector on NHL: Bettman bad for business -great article.

Spector on CBA: Situation needs perspective– We are in a recess, the leaders of the game tell us. It is about hockey related revenues, escrow, and other bleary numbers that do not represent goals and assists.  All so some owner who thought hockey was going to fly in Florida can sip a better brand of vodka.  All because of a bunch of hockey players somehow believe they are entitled to 57% of their sport’s revenues, while their colleagues in football, baseball and basketball all work in the 48-50% range.

Keep it up Marc, you’re doing a great job of keeping it real.  Frustration will continue to build until these billionaires (owners) and millionaires (players) can figure out just how much money each should reap for frankly a product that is not always as great as they say it is.  The game of hockey is a beautiful yet intense game.  The business of hockey is an intense yet frustrating experience for the fans.  Look for more frustration to build before this thing is over.  #lame.