Dispatches From Planet Hockey: “Vox Populi” Edition

by Jas Faulkner, contributing editor, sometime martinet


First, some good news…

Todd McLellan Sharks
(Rich Kane/Icon SMI)

Todd McLellan Explains It All 

Positive Coaching Alliance  is working with NHL coaches across the country to present workshops for leaders and teachers who want to foster strong character as well as epic performances.  The presentations are facilitated by PCA professionals and feature pro coaches as guest speakers.   The next workshop will be a two-part series of talks in San Jose featuring Sharks head coach, Todd McLellan.  (For more information about this event, visit the San Jose’s website.)

In spite of the relative maturity of the Sharks’ seasoned roster, McLellan is no stranger to addressing the younger set.  He is a vocal supporter of San Jose’s Junior Sharks and continues to work with the organisation to grow Sharks Ice as a top sports education facility.

We May Have A Seaso- Wait!  Oh. They’ve Left The Building Again.

The smart people in the room (Yeah, I’m looking at you, Mike Colligan and Jeff Little.) set out some possible scenarios and

Gary Bettman
(Kellen/Icon SMI)

reasons for the state stasis entropy lack of frickin’ movement towards a resolution to the CBA lockout mess.  It would be nice, oh, so very nice to see this settled.

I am trying hard to get worked up about a slapfight between millionaires and billionaires over money and I am failing. This is especially hard to take knowing that a swath of the NHLPA has shipped off  to other leagues, taking jobs away from those players.  The inevitable answer if that this is far too nuanced to figure in a real world rubric where the relative problems of the rest of humanity are taken into account.

Let me give it a shot.

The majority of humanity does not not have previous seasons of outrageous salaries to serve as a safety net when there is a labour stoppage.  When the majority of the working world tries to broker more humane work schedules, safer environments and conditions and benefits,  they are doing it to keep basic things within reach of their families and at times they do so at their own peril.

Let’s call this what it is:  a small part of the one percent is throwing a collective tantrum that denies the North American public -both here and serving their countries* overseas- access to their product.   What happened to you guys living the dream?  You already make more than 99.9% of the people who pay your salaries.  You make far more than the people who live in the cities where your arenas are located.  Many of those people bear the burden of paying higher taxes for maintenance, extra police protection and administrative expenses so that you and your wealthier fans, the majority of whom don’t even bother to live in the same county, can have a big, expensive plaything.

Don Fehr
(Brad Penner-US PRESSWIRE)

Right now those costly toys are sitting empty and sucking up more revenue from those who see little  or no benefit that doesn’t resemble a variation of municipal bread and circuses.

Right now, cities are arguing over how to pay for education and yet they are going to pitch in and pay for your presence.

Right now, the depressed economy in many NHL markets causes people to wonder how they are going to feed their families, shelter their families, and pay the outrageous prices for  healthcare for their families.  You and your family’s healthcare is usually comped.

Right now, merchants whose businesses depend on the peripheral traffic to games are losing out.  Arena support staff are scrambling to find ways to make up for the shortfall.

Right now you are epitomising the values that belie the hero status your PR claims you deserve.

Get in your offices and administer.  Put on your damned uniforms and play.   When you are a tenth of a percent as heroic as the average school teacher, I’ll give a damn about your labor problems.





*Yes, I said countries.  As of this writing, there are 70,00 members of the Canadian Armed Forces and a little south of 200,000 US Armed Forces personnel deployed overseas.