Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Undoubtedly, hockey fans thought back to this adage in 2004: For the second time under Gary Bettman the league suffered a work stoppage.
When all seemed glitzy and good following the '04-'05 lost season, Roger Daltrey’s belted chorus “We won’t get fooled again” was apropos.
Fast forward seven years and we are staring another lockout in the face. Blame Bettman all you want- indeed all of this has transpired under his watch- but there is a greater problem underlying the Collective Bargaining Agreements.
When the league locked out in 2004 the main issue (and there were plenty) was the gr...
As Rob McGowan discussed in his latest posting (Preparing For An NHL Lockout On The Island) , the impending NHL lockout is becoming less of an empty threat and more of a real possibility. Unfortunately for the fans of all NHL teams, both sides of the table are having great difficulty agreeing.
This lockout could spell disaster for a league that is still recovering from the effects of the missed season of 2004-05. While they have made great strides since that horrible day, they are still well behind where they want to be in terms of popularity in comparison to the other 3 major sports.
While it is common knowledge for most hockey fans that this lockout cannot happen, it still might. Despite the reality that it did actually happen just a few years ago, it seems as though fans have faith that a deal with get done. This blind faith will turn to fear if the calendar turns to September and a deal is not reached.
There was likely a reason that Islanders RFA's Rhett Rakhshani, Mark Katic and Justin DiBenedetto opted for Europe before being tendered their qualifying offers by GM Garth Snow. A potential lockout is looming that could delay or even cancel the 2012-2013 season and these young prospects still need to play in order to continue their development.
There is only 24 days left for the NHLPA and the owners to reach an agreement on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement or the season will be locked out, likely forcing a later start date than October 11th.
Hockey fans can look back to the 2004-2005 season that was entirely scrapped from a lockout due to disagreements on a new CBA between the NHLPA and the owners.
Katie Strang dropped a rock in the Isles' pond last Thursday when she tweeted, "#Isles owner Charles Wang just left NHL offices although it doesn't appear he was there for labor talks."
The question that follows, of course, is this: What was he there for?
Tweets in response ranged from the hopeful (and perhaps purely emotional) -- "IS HE SELLING?" -- to the downright silly, such as speculation over Wang and commissioner Gary Bettman bonding over some reality TV. But outside of Strang's tweet, there's been very little suggesting as to the nature of Wang's trip, which isn't surprising coming from an organization like the Islanders.
These are the type of conversations that are considered circular. After the endless banter, speculation, denial and rejection it is hard to decipher fact from fiction. There is no beginning, no end. There is no resolution nor a right or a wrong answer. There is simply the one fact that Brooklyn remains an option that should be considered by the New York Islanders.
Some people think the team could pack up their possessions on a stick wrapped in an Islander bandana, show up and paint the Islanders logo on ice and call it a home. Then there are the reasonable thinkers, those that know there is more to this that needs to be hashed out before this move is even considered.
First off, Brooklyn is trendy. When people think about the “new” Brooklyn, they automatically think of Williamsburg complete with the hipster labels. These hipster labels come with the faux vegetarians, riding bikes, drinking over priced craft beer and dressing poor but having money.
You couldn't have been more wrong if you predicted the Islanders to take a forward in this year's draft. The Isles only selected defenseman out of all seven rounds of this year's draft. They also acquired the top four defenseman that GM Garth Snow has continuously talked about addressing in this off-season.
The first move came when NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced that the Islanders traded their 2013 second round pick to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for Lubomir Visnovsky, a 35-year old defenseman (he turns 36 in August) in the final year of his contract. Visnovsky put up six goals and 21 assists for 27 points in 68 games last year with the Ducks. The year before was even better as the Ducks d-man scored 61 points in 81 games. 2012 was a tough year overall for the Ducks, so there's reason to believe that Visnovsky can be an offensive weapon, especially on the power play.
Ed Mangano can repeat himself multiple times on Twitter, stating that he is doing everything he can in his "ongoing plans" to keep the Islanders in Uniondale, but NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has made it clear: the Islanders will be leaving Nassau County in 2015.
A front page article was released in Newsday this weekend that had Bettman's words put directly on paper, making the harsh reality of the Islanders Coliseum problems look even more hopeless. He was quick to say that the Town of Hempstead and Nassau County have done a terrible job of trying to come up with a new plan to renovate the 40-year old arena. As a result, he is looking into other possible destinations for the New York Islanders.
The Montreal Canadiens step down from the podium and the camera turns to the General Manager of the New York Islanders, Garth Snow. Accompanied by his top scouts and assistants, and most likely Kevin Connolly who formerly was on Entourage, Snow remains seated. With Pierre McGuire ready to analyze Snow's draft choice at fourth overall, the Isles GM leaves the podium vacant for the Commissioner of the NHL, Gary Bettman.
"We have a trade to announce, " are the words that would echo throughout a startled building.
"The Islanders have chosen to trade the fourth overall pick in this year's draft..."
How much cover does the National Hockey League need before it can summon the nerve to outlaw players from pointlessly whacking each other on the head?
The league is terrified of ruling against head shots for fear it will be accused of lacking the manly qualities it believes fans expect of it. And some of the handful of fans attracted to games in no-hope hockey towns in the southern U.S. might decide to stay home and watch crocodile wrestling on TV instead. Gary Bettman and his pals can't back down without fear of looking all sissified or something.
But now Sidney Crosby has provided all the cover required to make a change, the need for which has been painfully obviou...
No one ever accused the National Hockey League of being pro-active. On anything. If the NHL was in charge of the fight against cancer, it would still be debating whether dying prematurely was an issue worth addressing.
A week or so ago, the league got much pre-season attention when it held a camp in Toronto to evaluate a few possible tweaks to the rules. Maybe nets should be shallower, so players had more room to manoeuvre and could score more often on the wraparound.
Maybe a green line should be painted inside the goal to make it easier to judge when pucks had fully entered the net. Maybe penalized players should have to serve out the full two minutes, producing more short-ha...