Don Cherry is like the bitter old man that holds court in the local bar, sitting on the corner stool reminiscing about the “good old days.” His never-ending caustic commentary runs on an endless loop that leaves those around him nodding their heads in agreement in the silent hope that he will, at some point, shut up.
As he rambles on, the words end up coming across as background noise. With that ceaseless drone drilling into your head, it’s easy to understand that when he actually comes up with a good idea it can be missed.
One of those moments occurred late last week when Cherry, the longtime host of CBC’s “Coach’s Corner,” said it was time the NHLPA took the NHL’s offer and vote in a secret ballot. As Cherry said, "I have been in that situation where you are sitting next to guy saying one thing but other guys may be thinking other things. The problem is when it’s a show of hands, it’s very difficult to stand up and say what you really believe." (via slam.canoe.ca).
Granted, from everything we have heard, the NHL pulled their offer off the table last week when talks broke down, but that’s not to say that they wouldn’t be willing to throw it back out there if they knew that the players intended to vote on what the offer contained.
This entire debacle has dragged on for far too long and it has become toxic. Both sides are losing money, the fans are disgusted with the players and the owners and very well may stay away from the game if the entire season is lost. If the NHLPA votes on what was in the NHL’s last offer, what’s the worst thing that could happen? They vote no and talks continue on Wednesday. That’s not the end of the world.
NHLPA head Donald Fehr would probably not appreciate this vote, but the fact is he works for the players and serves at their will. If enough players stand up and demand to vote on what the NHL is offering, Fehr has to do their bidding. I am sure there are more than a handful of players that are willing to vote on a deal.
Sometimes it pays to listen to the crotchety old man in the corner, this is one of those times. Make it happen.