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NHL Cancels Additional Games: It's Time for Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr to Go

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 13:  Commissioner Gary Bettman of the National Hockey League leaves the podium after addressing the media at Crowne Plaza Times Square on September 13, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Alex BaconCorrespondent IOctober 27, 2012

The fans have had enough. Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr have not gotten their jobs done, and it is time for them to go.

On Friday, the NHL announced the cancellation of the next batch of regular season games up until November 30, and now the Winter Classic is in jeopardy.

Enough is enough, Bettman and Fehr need to get a CBA agreed upon. The fans, players and owners are beginning to reach their tipping point.

When the NBA and NFL were locked out last year, David Stern and Roger Goodell were able to find a deal to allow their respective sports to play.

Goodell was also able to reach a deal with the NFL’s locked out referees. Unlike Bettman, Goodell assessed the situation and realized that the NFL was facing problems with replacement officials, so he ended the lockout.

Bettman on the other hand, has made almost no progress in negotiating a new CBA after the NHL officially became locked out on September 15.

This is the third lockout under Bettman, and the fourth time the NHL has been locked out in the past 20 years.

As the commissioner of the NHL it is Bettman’s job to negotiate a CBA, which he has not done.

It has been said many times that during the 2004-05 lockout, Bettman and the owners won. The CBA following the 2004-05 lockout was not formed because the two sides came to a deal, it was formed because the players caved.

 

Bettman knows that the players will give in eventually, and he has no problem waiting them out because in the end he knows he will get what he wants.

But Fehr and the players know that the NHLPA lost in 2004-05, and will not stand for another CBA that the owners force upon them.

Fehr, the NHLPA Executive Director, has more weight on his shoulders. He represents over 600 players while Bettman only represents 30 owners.

The fans of the NHL seem to like Fehr more than Bettman, but why?

The lockout is as much his fault as it is Bettman’s.

Fehr is hired by the players to agree on the best possible CBA for the players, yet he still has not agreed on one.

So, he’s not doing his job either.

He has made attempts to negotiate a CBA, though. His three counter-proposals seemed to be a step forward from Bettman’s starting point, but Bettman obviously disagreed.

The whole situation is just bad, and if a deal wants to be reached, Bettman and Fehr need to go.

In the end the fans don’t care about the PR war, they just want hockey. If the two guys in charge of bringing them hockey can’t do that, then maybe it’s time to bring in two new ones who are more ambitious.

Obviously, Bettman and Fehr don’t want the lockout to continue, but how much are they willing to sacrifice?

It’s a circle, and it will end when one side gives in.

So, in the meantime, the fans are the ones suffering.

 

Give Alex Bacon a follow on Twitter @abacon55 for hockey and lockout related news

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