Monday, April 25, 2005

Bobby Orr For Commissioner!

It's still incredible to me that the NHL lost an entire season over a labor dispute. Any other year, I would be getting my fill of NHL Playoff hockey- easily the most intense, compelling playoffs of any sport- with two games a night throughout April and early May. Alas.

I have no sympathy for either side. The owners are full of complaints that players salaries are too high. Well? Who agrees to the contracts? The players were unwilling to play for a million or so each in the NHL, but were happy enough to play in Europe or in the minor leagues for a fraction of the pay. Well? Is it about the salaries or isn't it?

Worse, the representatives for both sides are engaged in a pointless standoff. ESPN ran a poll, and the majority of respondents said they didn't miss the NHL a bit. That should have scared both sides straight to the table to regain their relevance in the sporting world.

Bobby Orr has it right. His comments were carried by ESPN:
Bobby Orr wants NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and players' association executive director Bob Goodenow to "get out of the way" if they can't solve the impasse that led to the cancellation of the NHL's season.

"Our sport is in danger of becoming irrelevant unless both sides immediately put an end to this nonsense," the Boston Bruins great wrote in a column for the Sunday Eagle-Tribune.

Orr, 57, said he initially resisted the urge to comment on the labor dispute because he believed the two sides would resolve their differences for the good of the game. But he said he no longer believes either side is interested in getting a fair deal done.

Thanks, Bobby Orr, for giving both sides the kick in the rear they deserve and need. I'd love it if more NHL legends spoke out in this way.

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