Posted 17 October 2012 - 12:55 AM
Overall, I'm not on the side of the owners or the player (although I tend to side with the players in these CBA negotiations after siding with the owners last time around). I just want to watch NHL hockey. However, extorting money from local, state and federal government bodies to keep a business in a current place through the real or imaginary threat of relocation goes far beyond sports. Large businesses do it all the time, and often receive huge tax credits from the state and municipality to stay and, in some cases, move. Why do you think Panasonic is moving from Secaucus to Newark? They are getting a tax break to move even though its only a few miles away. Every state offers large tax breaks to get corporations to move to their state, which often mean the locality where that company is presently housed must make huge concessions in order to keep the jobs there. The owners run these large corporations, therefore it is logical that they would use the tactics they use in business in running their sports franchises and, frankly, who can blame them since it works (rightly or wrongly) each and every time.
Ultimately, the state or local government has a choice to make regarding what the value of retaining that professional sports franchise really is because they all KNOW, without a doubt, that they will NEVER recover their initial investment in the new arena or stadium during its ~30 year lifespan. Nobody forces the state or city to fund the construction of the arena but, for political and socioeconomic reasons, they choose to do so more often than not.
Collective bargaining is a result of the players unionizing, and probably was something the owners heavily resisted when the NHLPA was first being formed. I don't think you can definitively say that players would be making more money without collective bargaining. Maybe guys like Crosby would, but others like the 3rd and 4th line grinders likely wouldn't. Plus, without collective bargaining, each player could conceivable have a different set of contractual working conditions, which would be a complete nightmare. Moreover, the owners don't steal anything. People like you and I willingly pay thousands of dollars each season to watch the team play, purchase concessions, and buy merchandise. Nobody forces us to do it. If you don't want to pay $ to see the team play, don't go to the games. And if you don't want to pay money to Cablevision to get MSG+ on your TV, then listen to the radio broadcast or go to a bar.
That being said, I hope the players accept this proposal and we finally see hockey for the first time since June.