Um. So how about that lockout, huh?
Roy Mlakar, the president of the Ottawa Senators, says the Senators are actually saving money by locking out the players.
How crazy is that? How can you run a business that’s more successful when it’s closed? Were the Senators really waiting for the lockout to fix this? Was there a reason they didn’t want to fix this sooner? What was stopping the Senators from taking control of their own finances?
And you know what. The Ottawa Sun‘s Chris Stevenson agrees with me.
And not only that, the Senators are sending key players, including recently-acquired goalie Dominik Hasek, to play in the AHL. That doesn’t say lockout to me. The Senators are obviously concerned about the conditioning of their players, which is nice. But it also says that the owners aren’t prepared to truly break the players. And if they’re serious about installing a cap, they’re going to have to break the players. Here’s a hint for any owners reading, too. You’re not sending a lockout message when you sign a ton of players before the lockout. The Oilers just gave Radek Dvorak a two-year deal for $4.2 million. Were they scared another team was going to snatch him up during the lockout? Would it have killed Edmonton to wait until after the lockout to sign a marginal player like Dvorak? In theory, salaries will be a lot more negotiable after the owners break the players. So maybe some owners don’t think the players will actually break.
Actually, according to the New York Post, the owners are pretty intent on breaking each other. The Mighty Ducks, Devils, and Islanders were deemed ineligible for a revenue-sharing proposal because the rest of the owners wanted to block Blackhawks owner Bill Wirtz from collecting on it. So they sold out three franchises to punish one. That says solidarity to me.
But the real stars of this lockout? AHL teams. Scott Lauber of the Press & Sun Bulletin says AHL teams, like the Binghamton Senators, will thrive as one of the only sources of hockey during the lockout.
If I were more paranoid, I might wonder if this whole work stoppage isn’t a ploy by the AHL to put some butts in the seats.
Think about it.