The Orange Update

To Save or Not To Save

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The much anticipated but non-binding mediation begins today between the NHL and NHLPA in what most consider to be a last stitch effort to save a 2012-2013 hockey season. My last post highlighted why I was not optimistic about this step, and while not much has changed since then, I guess any attempts to rectify the problem is better than doing nothing for over a week like what occurred earlier in the month. If you would like reasons to be optimistic, there are a few.

Mediation failed in the 2004 locked out season, so why would it work now? First off, because the sides are actually talking. In the last lockout, both sides did not talk at all, were not close on aspects of a CBA, and essentially dug their foot in the sand and did waver off that point.  Fast forward 8 years…there have been several heated negotiations that have led to agreements on several hot items. While the 2-3 biggest remain in disagreement, the sides are showing willingness to compromise in other aspects. Secondly, this is being done in late November and not late December with no time for mediation to be effective.  By starting this process in November, the timing allows them to either put a mediated solution into place, or to have it fail miserably but still arrange a deal through other methods. If mediation started in mid to late December, that wouldn’t be the case.  It seems like the Owners really want to save a season.

What I found most interesting was a tweet that Dustin Leed  (@d_leed) sent out yesterday regarding a 48 game plan. Dustin, someone who we respect greatly, is a frequent guest on The Orange Update podcast. He is a hockey enthusiast who interacts often on Twitter with tremendous insight/ knowledge and has no problem admitting when he is incorrect. To summarize a series of tweets and retweets from yesterday, Dustin predicted, with support from other hockey figures, a CBA to be resolved around December 15-25, with a 48 game season already planned. If this is true, will you go running back?

I personally would welcome hockey back with open arms. Sure, I sit here pissed off at the hockey world and say that I want to boycott all things hockey, but I have to convince myself not to purchase Flyers memorabilia in the middle of a lockout daily.  As mad as I am right now, the thought of being at the Wells Fargo Center at the home opener is a happiness that is unparalleled.

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