You know, I’m not naive to the realities of sports. I realize it’s a business and that when all is said and done, at the end of the day, there’s a bottom line that needs to be met. And I realize that if the bottom line isn’t met, lots of people, people who don’t necessarily even play hockey, can have their livelihood compromised.
So with that in mind, it’s simply horrible and unconscioncable that Cal Nichols, governor of the Edmonton Oilers, is talking about how the Oilers might not be able to exist unless changes are made to the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Why would Nichols even bring this up on the first night of the playoffs? Is he trying to drive away fans? Does he think it benefits the game to remind people that hockey might not be here next season?
I’m sure I’m not the only one wondering if Nichols would be talking about “competitive balance” in the league if Edmonton had made it into the playoffs.
You know. Like the similarly small payrolled Calgary Flames and Nashville Predators.
You also have to wonder how committed Nichols is to the idea of financial parity, too. Some may recall the Oilers got Petr Nedved from the Rangers at the trade deadline. The Rangers picked up all of Nedved’s remaining salary, though. The Rangers can do that because of their huge payroll and huge revenues. Nichols didn’t insist on paying Nedved’s salary because he doesn’t want the Oilers to perpetuate the big-money problem. So Nichols obviously doesn’t mind “competitive imbalance” when it benefits his team. It’s only when the Oilers aren’t doing well that Nichols has a problem with it.