| Playing with deposit, not an
My money is on NHL hockey
1/30/05 - by Mike Lee
News from the great NHL
Lockout debate of 2004-05 continues to point to doom and gloom, but little
snippets from the press have really chapped my hide this week. Forget the fact
that the season is on the brink of extinction, there's far more important news
on the horizon and it has to do with my money. David Pollak from the San Jose
Mercury News reported on Sunday that the fine print in the Sharks Season Ticket
Holder Agreement last Fall includes a little slippery language which was
misconstrued by yours truly last August.
That language implies that
the Sharks could in fact hold on to the deposit that all season ticket holders
are forced to pony up during the summer, until play resumes. I understood that
part. What wasn't crystal clear to me is the fact that the Sharks could
automatically apply that money to games that could involve replacement players.
When sent in my season ticket money, that money was intended to be
used on NHL caliber hockey, not minor league caliber hockey. So if the Sharks
were to attempt to apply that money to games that involved replacement players,
I would raise objections.
Granted, the Sharks have done nothing of the
sort and the season hasn't been cancelled, so I will give them the benefit of
the doubt as of now. Canceling an entire NHL season will alienate some, but not
all of the current season ticket holder base. Playing games with money that was
committed to the organization in good faith is an entirely different matter. I
hope owners around the league get that message.
Let Them Eat Cake
Speaking of alienating
fans, I also read comments from several Sharks players earlier this week,
expressing their concern with the current labor issue. Sharks captain Patrick
Marleau had a few things to say about the owner's proposal for a salary cap and
how the players union wouldn't tolerate it.
Marleau's commented that
any such salary cap would force players to bolt from city to city in order to
essentially garner the money that they deserved, and that fans wouldn't be able
to establish the same affinity to players because they would be changing
employers more often.
I could only shake my head after reading Marleau's
comments. For one, as long as free agency is a part of sports, players are
going to head for greener pastures ay just about every opportunity that they
get. To pass off the notion that players would be more likely to do so with a
salary cap is just plain insulting.
Yes, the NHL gives teams a tighter
reign on younger players, but as a fan of the game, I say it's too bad every
other sport doesn't have the same system. Even with this system, players still
find ways to hold guns to the heads of their employers if they're not receiving
the money they think they're worth. Can you say "holdout"?
Patrick needs to head back to Aneroid and shovel some snow for a few weeks and
let that clean Canadian air clear his senses, because the polluted climate of
professional sports is beginning to cloud his judgment a wee bit.
Actually, I wouldn't mind the suits from the NHL and the NHLPA head up to
Northern Saskatchewan, and settle their differences by dropping the puck on
some frozen pond, with a little shinny action. It might be good for everyone's
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