NHL locks out players, but celebrates oldtimers
In most hockey circles, the owners' decision to lock out NHL players is the biggest news of the night.
But not on nhl.com, which is the voice of the owners and their hired hand, league commissioner Gary Bettman.
If you go to the site, you'll see a mention up the side of the September 15 deadline passing for a new collective bargaining agreement.
"As a result, training camps will not open until agreement on a new CBA is reached," the short article states.
Deputy commissioner Bill Daly—and not Bettman—is then quoted as saying: "We spoke [Saturday] and determined that there was no point in convening a formal bargaining session in light of the fact that neither side is in a position to move off of its last proposal. I'm sure we will keep in touch in the coming days and schedule meetings to the extent they might be useful or appropriate. We are sorry for where we are. Not what we hoped or expected."
Nowhere do you see the word "lockout" in the league's statement.
And the main section of the home page is dominated by stories about the 1987 Canada Cup, various "unbreakable" team records, and celebrity sightings.
Retired broadcaster Jim Robson was famous for always giving a shout out to all those shut-ins who relied on hockey to keep them entertained. They seem to be forgotten in the present labour environment.
There have been a couple of articles recently—one in Sporting News and another in the Globe and Mail—which highlighted how some of the owners are devotees of libertarian Russian-American novelist Ayn Rand, who had little time for shut-ins and others whom she considered weak. Other owners are big financiers of the Republican Party.
Philadelphia Flyers owner Ed Snider, for example, helped create the Ayn Rand Institute and is executive producer of a movie version of Rand's novel Atlas Shrugged.
Some of the U.S. owners, in particular, have a history of opposition to organized labour. It means that this dispute—which they won't yet call a lockout—may be with us for quite some time.