NHL 20/21 Season a Ticking Time Bomb feat. Iration

NHL 20/21 Season a Ticking Time Bomb feat. Iration

Penguins

NHL 20/21 Season a Ticking Time Bomb feat. Iration

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NHL player agent Allan Walsh isn’t known for his subtlety.  You may remember his magnificent since-deleted-tweet in August defending his favorite client Marc Andre Fleury from his big bad bully coach.

God forbid DeBoer plays the better goalie, but hey, there’s something to be said about going to war for your man!  Don’t we all just wanna find ourselves a ride-or-die?

Walsh caused yet another internet stir yesterday with a string of tweets that should have caught any NHL fan’s attention, and not in a good way.

Now before you shit your pants, let’s all grab the salt shaker and take out a couple grains to go with these takes.  Allan Walsh is an agent, and putting pressure on the league’s owners to benefit his clients is part of the job description.  Bet your bottom buck there is a “posturing” angle to this.

That said – the NHL’s recent history with labor issues doesn’t exactly inspire confidence that this will be resolved expeditiously.  The full lockout in 04/05 and partial season lockout in 12/13 are two of the worst work stoppages in all four North American sports over the last two decades.  The 2011 NBA lockout is a close third, and they still salvaged 66 games.   The NBA sucks, but at least their 17 fans know they’re probably going to play.

The league is still floating January 1st as a target start, which is probably about as likely as my chances of having six pack abs by the same date.  The holiday IPAs ain’t gonna drink themselves.

Back to Walsh:  If you’ve been paying attention to player interviews and recent CBA negotiations, the issue he is referring to relates to escrow / salary deferral.

Simply put, escrow is the owner’s right to withhold a certain percentage of a player’s paycheck until season’s end when they know what the full revenue for the year is.  If all goes well, the player will eventually get his money – but that’s a Texas-sized “IF”.  It has been a contentious issue that long predates 2020, but the pandemic has certainly been gasoline on the tire fire. This is why owners are owners.  They gon’ get paid come hell or high water.

Compounding the issue are several factors, including but not limited to:

I am not a lawyer nor do I play one on TV, but I’ve seen plenty of Force Majeure clauses in my Other Life That Pays The Bills.  Usually they’re broadly defined Acts of God (not Mario, the other one) like strike, war, weather, etc…Here’s betting we’ll find out sooner than later whether a judge feels a worldwide pandemic falls under the definition per the NHL CBA language.

Small businesses may be struggling, but bet your ass lawyers are printing money re-negotiating these types of clauses all over the country.

Either way, the clock is ticking, and to the surprise of no one, it seems like the league is dragging their feet.

For fans – this will become a “what have you done for me lately” situation in a hurry.  The Bubble Cup generated lots of goodwill and everyone involved should be commended for an unreal effort.  But that’s in the rearview mirror now.  Herbie Hockeyfan isn’t going to give a rat’s ass about the details of labor negotiation and TV contracts if he sees the NBA playing on Christmas while the NHL holds it’s collective dick into the New Year.

Here’s hoping both sides make significant progress over the next couple weeks.  Right now……it is a Time Bomb.  Enjoy the mellow Iration vibes, Go Steelers, Fuck the Ravens, Fuck Corona, Go Pens.

PS: Friendly reminder to chirp my bitch ass on Twitter @GooeyHockey.

 

 

 

 

 

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