Since the last lockout, the NHL has generated record revenues. The league isn't just shitting money; it's got White Castle diarrhea runs of money.
The owners imposed their will in the last set of negotiations, as the players were forced to take the salary cap they didn't want. This time, the owners decided that getting everything they wanted the first time wasn't good enough. They want more. It's like watching Honey Boo Boo on her Super Sweet 16. In fact, this summer, Gary Bettman talked to children working in sweatshops to ask them how their job could be worse. Then, he included their ideas in his first proposal.
The owners believe NHL players should have to pay for their rink time like every other rec league hockey player. The players are worried what life will be like if they take a pay cut and can't afford to bathe their dog in Evian.
Both sides are to blame for the stalemate. During the weekend, the NHL and NHLPA met to resolve non-economic issues instead of discussing issues that are actually causing the lockout. Here is a summary of some of the key non-economic issues at stake in CBA negotiations:
Issue: Better protections against concussions.
Player stance: I mean, c'mon. You've seen Mike Milbury between periods. Do you want us to end up like that?
Owner stance: Excellent point. Yeah, let's do something about that. How about quiet rooms and examinations from specialists. Oh, and we'll keep all shoes out of your reach just in case.
Issue: Negotiating NHL's proposed division realignment
Player stance: This new division alignment will give certain teams an advantage in making the playoffs. Oh, and we never want to go to Winnipeg, so make them play all their games on the road. And increase the amount of games in Florida.
Owner stance: Well, that sounds kind of reasonable...Hey wait a minute...Holy fuck, there's not only one team in Florida, but TWO?! Who the hell let Gary do that? We're not losing money! We're losing our goddam minds!
Issue: Improving the marketability of individual stars.
Player stance: But this is a team sport.
Owner stance: Can you at least make the between period interviews less cliche? Make it exciting. Talk in the third person. Develop some catchphrases.
Issue: Drug testing
Player stance: Actually this has nothing to do with steroids. Alex Burrows pitched this idea.
Owners: Pfft, whatever, we do mounds of coke like we're Scarface...I mean, this CBA has us so poor we have to cook our own meth.