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Always confident in pessimism
Season's death no shock
2/16/05 - By Paul Krill

Remember the end of the "Planet of the Apes"? The 1968 classic, not the lousy Tim Burton remake of a couple years back? At the end, Charlton Heston discovers the scarred remains of the Statue of Liberty and shouts, "You blew it up!....Damn you all to Hell!" As in, they really wouldn't blow it all up, would they? But they did. Just like what's happened with the now-deceased 2004-05 NHL season. I was always confident the overconfident NHLPA would not come to grips with the drive on part of NHL owners to change the system, and we'd have no season.

When I listened to Sharks GM Doug Wilson talk confidently about the upcoming season last August, I pretty much sat there, feeling, "Do you really believe there will be a season? I sure don't."

Too bad I'm right (again).

And now, the players can sit or go to Europe until next October or whenever, sans any chance to win the Stanley Cup.

It's always frustrating when players seem more focused on winning Washington ($1 bill) and Benjamin ($100 bill) than on winning Stanley (as in big silver trophy with names on it). I've listened to far too many players with no Stanley Cup rings talk against the cap and talk about their willingness to sit out until forever to avoid a salary cap.

Of course, the union now looks ready to accept a cap after all - just too late in time to save this season.

While I've been primarily on the side of the owners in this, owners did allow the situation to get to this by overpaying and over-expanding. But players seem out of touch with the reality that the rest of us have to face - when expenses outstrip revenues, it's usually the employees that get to pick up the tab. Just ask any of the 200,000 persons laid off in the Bay Area during the dotcom bust.

So here we are. I, for one, have more time to spend with my family thanks to no hockey. But I do miss it and there is a void in my life because of it. But no NHL does not have the impact of, say, an extended work stoppage by my local garbage collectors, if that ever happened. Now there's a group of workers we can't do without for any length of time.

…Penalty shots

The Sharks' press release today on the season's death states, "Confirming the picture of an industry in trouble, several NHL clubs were available for sale in the last couple of years, but the only two transactions came when Ottawa and Buffalo were saved from bankruptcy court." Um, weren't the Atlanta Thrashers included in on the sale of the Atlanta Hawks and the Phillips Arena not too long ago? Didn't the league approve the sale of the New Jersey Devils on Lockout Declaration Day, September 15, 2004? I don't doubt the declining value of NHL franchises, but let's get the facts straight here…

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