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No. of Recommendations: 13
They can't win and they won't.

Hockey fans will - in the end and as usual - end up being the only ones who pay any penalty.

The current league thinking is to stock rosters with low level minor leaguers. This will keep all pro-level and NHL owned prospects off the ice. So, it'll be ECHL and UHL level players that we will be paying pro-level dollars to see. Unfortunately, there will likely be no other way since the league thought of lifting the lockout for players who earned less than $1MM in 2003-2004 would never hold up in court.

Will ticket prices go down? Concession prices? Parking? Merchandise? Of course not.

This is a long way off, of course, since the league hasn't even figured out what its long term plan is. There is currently no full scale proposal on the table, as a proxy for a CBA, which the league will need in order to declare an impasse.

But what's the rush? We're only seven months into the lockout. The owners last regressive offer didn't even contain details of the amended revenue sharing plan. Instead, it made vague reference to past offers and philosophies. That offer, an almost 12% reduction from the previous one, isn't even proportionally tied to a revenue sharing plan. In fact, the offer vaguely refers to a complete phase out of revenue sharing over the course of the agreement.

So, ultimately, the league's top 6 teams in terms of profitability will account for almost 90% of the entire leagues operating profit. Is that a well thought-out plan designed to ensure the health and viability of all franchises? Of course not. So, what exactly is the league trying to accomplish? It's not revenue balance, obviously and it's not the long term viability of the league. So, what is it, other than the vague notion that most owners would like to pay the players less?

We can knock the players all we want. Yes, they are overpaid. Yes, they are whining bastards who only care about themselves. Yes, they are currently taking jobs away from hard working and deserving players in Europe and that's wrong. But can we please dispense with the nonsense that just because the players are whining, overpaid, spoiled asses, that the owners are somehow right, or more laughably, somehow morally correct?

This is about money. Both parties are guilty. Spin it however you want, but recognize that's all you're doing. Both sides are completely and equally full of crap.

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