Season saved? Try sleeping on a $1-Billion before giving it up
Gary Bettman has won the PR War, but he may not have won the Lockout War.
Bettman has fans hoping to hear those 2 most precious words in hockey again---"Game On!"
If it were only so easy as 50-50.
Coincidence or not, the bold Bettman move may boil down to the kind of wisdom Republican-linked PR firms have doled out to Presidents for decades going back to the Reagan and Bush Dynasties: Greed is good as long as you can get away with it and you make it look fair.
Stroking the fans often enough helps too.
There are still big questions to be answered before as formidable an opponent as Don Fehr, backed up by union solidarity will cave.
Outspoken agent Allan Walsh tweeted a big reality check about future cheques for NHLers: "A pure 50/50 split represents a $1.3B transfer of revenue from players to owners over 6 yrs not factoring in any revenue growth at all."
The players and owners have made this bed. Now imagine lying down on $1.3-Billion cash and tell me you could honestly sleep with that pulled out from under you. No matter how much you got stuffed in the mattress, there's a pillow fight that will get the feathers flying.
Ironies remain. The deal that bans anything longer than 5-year deals is for 6 years. Player movement rights are to be tightened even though owners felt free to dole out 6-12 year deals with ease just months ago.
Suddenly no rollback on salary? Suddenly 50-50?
Can an 82-game season be salvaged? I still don't think so, but at least we're closer to getting back to the best players who play the game we love doing what they do best. Play.
Some fans will think the Fehr Brothers are being greedy if they don't accept ASAP.
The truth is the owners are still the ones who put the locks on the doors. The lockout is their creation. They could just as easily have agreed to play the season while talking about the present and the future.
This is only the end of the beginning of serious talks. It is far from the beginning of the end for the NHLPA and Fehr's sway.
As long as we don't have NHL sweaters of the future looking like that all-dressed pizza of a jersey like Max Pacioretty had to wear in the Swiss League. I've seen straight jackets that look more inspiring and inviting.
Hopefully the NHL could find that many sponsors. Hopefully the NHL hasn't ticked off that many fans.
Maybe it'll take that many logo deals on a jersey to restore that cozy multi-billion dollar bed for owners and players.
There is sadly, still plenty of hardball to be played for the "CHC" before the CH are back on the ice.
Cold hard cash. It talks, it shouts. It locks you out. But it can't skate or shoot or stop a puck.
The players are the game. Only they inspire future generations of fans. Not the owners.