The NHL and its players settled its labor dispute in the wee hours of last weekend. It's GAME ON! for a conference-only schedule lasting half the usual regular season, to begin next weekend.
Or, apparently, not.
After all the suits finished their pressers apologizing for the inconvenience to the fans, the league has spent the ensuing week- what else?- inconveniencing the fans. First, they said the opening of camps, resumption of trades and other league business, and (most important for fan-plan purposes) the announcement of the shortened schedule would all have to await the formal ratification of what the negotiators negotiated.
Fine. A little anal, but fine. How long could that take? Until today, it seems. It took an in-person meeting of the 30 league owners Wednesday to approve it on their end, which they did, unanimously. Then it went to a players' vote, which was done electronically. Despite, you know, the electronic
part, which seems to do a decent job in counting tens of millions of votes on a Tuesday night in November, it took until today for a formal confirmation that the players- all but a dozen of them- voted to approve the thing.
So Holy Puck, Bett-man! Where's my schedule?Still not good enough:One step remains before the deal is done, the NHLPA said in a release. The CBA is ratified, and now sides must complete a Memorandum of Understanding consistent with what the players approved.
The lawyer within is doing an odd-man rush trying to figure THAT the frick out. So what you're saying, Gary, is that even though it took you over five months from the lockout start (more like eight from the end of last season) to cut a deal, and
had a week to reduce it to writing, you're only NOW going to hire the scriveners to write out the terms of the thing? And you're going to hold your fans' plans hostage until you do?Ten minute major penalty to Number 1, Bettman, for being a jerk. Bettman, ten minutes, being a jerk.
The season is still scheduled to start a week from today.
Some teams with crappy webmasters have already pre-posted "hidden" links to the treasure trove that got h8cked pretty quickly. Sabres fans pretty much know they are opening at home against the Flyers a week from tomorrow, and what a bunch of the ensuing schedule looks like. But guys. Single-game seats go on sale on Monday. It'd be nice to give people a lit-tle heads-up about what the game dates are, yaknow?
It's near certain that the marketing departments will duly grovel once the games finally begin, with sights like this once they do:
Sorry, though. Even excusing the clusterfudge of the lead-up to the settlement, the Game Misconduct of the past week sends a message with a different word at the start of that blue line- and the only thing it has in common with "thank" is that it also ends in a K.
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