The NHL and NHLPA negotiated again today. No progress was made. No further meetings are planned.
What a waste of time. It’s just delaying the inevitable.
The owners are going to win the lockout. The owners always do. The owners have won almost every labor negotiation in the history of sports. Both sides lose money during a work stoppage, but management gets it back eventually. For the labor force, that money is gone forever.
If the rich gave all their money to the poor, the rich would have it back inside six months. The same principle is in operation here.
Krys Barch, a jobroni wing from the New Jersey Devils, went on a drunken Twitter rant, whining about his family’s future being in jeopardy despite his hard work while the owners drink cognac and smoke cigars.
Barch has 12 goals and 669 penalty minutes in 304 career NHL games, so we know what he’s about. Barch is angry at the owners? Well, I’m angry at Barch. I’m a lot better at my job than he is at is, and I guarantee he’s made a lot more money since his NHL debut in 2007 than I did during the same time frame. I also guarantee I’ve brought more revenue to my company than Barch has to his. If Barch disappeared from hockey today, FOREVER, no one would know the difference.
You don’t hear the stars taking shots at the owners or NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. Just punks like Barch and Brandon Prust, who tweeted that Bettman never blocked a shot. That’s true. He merely has a degree in Labor Relations from Cornell.
These idiots didn’t invent hard work, nor perfect it. Penguins co-owner Ron Burkle didn’t win the lottery. He busted his ass on his way to $3.2b.
NHL revenues increased by over $1b annually since the last CBA. Yet 18 franchises lost money last season, including the Penguins. The union suggests increased revenue sharing by way of solution, but too much of that leads to situations like MLB, where teams are paid to lose. They pocket shared revenue and don’t try to win.
Does that sound at all familiar?
The NHLPA isn’t a union except when it’s convenient. Employees in real unions are paid primarily according to tenure. Wages aren’t negotiated individually. Players are independent contractors. This is hardly “Workers of the world, unite!”
The players like to say they're partners, too. That's also untrue. Partners assume risk. The players assume no risk.
I respect the talents of all pro hockey players. I respect the right of every individual to get his fair share. Greed is good. But this is greed on both sides.
What would Krys Barch be doing if not for pro hockey? What are his other marketable skills? How much would he be making?
When this ends, no matter what the revenue split is, every NHL player will be your basic highly-paid athlete, with more money than he knows what to do with. Your skills and legs erode, and it doesn’t last forever. But it was never meant to.
When hockey’s done, get another job. Welcome to the real world. Then, perhaps, you can JOIN AN ACTUAL UNION.
My proposal: Roll back player salaries 20 percent. Then roll back ticket prices 20 percent. The players lose. The owners lose.
And finally, at long last, a sports labor negotiation will be won by somebody who deserves to.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images.