My fellow puckheads, since the last summer we’ve been hoping our worst nightmares wouldn’t come true. We’ve hoped, apparently in vain, that logic, reasoning and a little bit of good faith would prevail in the end and at least some part of the 2012-2013 season would be salvaged, but unfortunately for you, for me, and for everyone who ever cared for the game of hockey, we’ve been proved wrong whenever any spark of hope appears.
This Sunday the NHLPA has initiated a voting among its members that, if approved, will lead to the union filing a disclaimer of interest, which means the union will be no longer in position to negotiate with the NHL towards a new CBA. The NHL didn’t just look and wait to see what’s next and decided to strike first asking for a federal judge in the USA to rule the lockout legal. And Mr. Bettman did go a step further: the NHL has also asked the judge to consider all player contracts void if the union does file a disclaimer of interest.
Yep, that nuclear option that nobody ever thought would be used seems pretty much on the way to become a reality. A sad, disturbing, and disgusting reality to the NHL, to the NHLPA, to the league sponsors and to us the fans.
I can’t believe at least 20 owners will just sit tight and do nothing, watching Gary Bettman, Bill Daly and Jeremy Jacobs simply nuke down the league. I can’t believe players like Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews and Brad Richards will just sit tight and watch the Fehrs brothers do nothing and let the game implode like this. Once again, I truly hope to be wrong. Otherwise, they will just prove yet another time the NHL and its players don’t deserve the fans they have. Just like that, plain and simple.