Had the NHL been active, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day would have been without a single NHL game, but as we all know, the NHL is not active, and as such, Boxing Day will be without a single NHL game as well. December 26 would have featured 12 NHL games, but the ongoing lockout will prevent a single one of those games from taking place.
It’s no secret that fans are disgusted with both the players and the owners in this battle and they just want the game to come back. That’s an expected outcome when the “billionaires” and “millionaires” (as many have labeled the bickering owners and players) fail to hammer out a deal. However, when a man who stands to make a tidy profit from those failings sounds off and rips into the NHL and NHLPA, they should know that they have sunk to new depths.
That’s where we now find ourselves, as Alexander Medvedev, the president of the KHL lambasted both sides involved in the ongoing North American drama, “Financial issues trump the development of the game for them,” Medvedev told the website for Barys Astana, a KHL hockey club (h/t Slam Sports).
It’s hard to argue that Medvedev is wrong in his assessment, and this is a guy whose league is attracting attention worldwide partially because of the lockout, as NHL stars such as Alexander Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, Ilya Kovalchuk and Zdeno Chara, among others, are playing in the KHL because they are unable to take to the ice with their NHL clubs.
Medvedev acknowledged that while the KHL and its players do have their differences, the game—not the money—comes first, “While we might have arguments with the players unions, we always think about the hockey first of all, and about everything else later.”
Roll this over in your mind. You would think a man such as Medvedev would be happy that the NHL lockout is rolling into the triple digits in days. The longer there’s no NHL, the longer he has NHL players in his league. For him to take jabs at the league that is earning him money tells you how truly sad this fiasco has gotten—even the profiteers are saying it’s wrong.
The NHL and NHLPA should take note that when rival leagues are starting to tell you how bad you are messing up, it’s probably way past time to strike a deal.