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A Strategy for the NHLPA
15/12/2004

So, the NHL lockout negotiations are going nowhere and it looks like we won't have any hockey for a long time. For reasons I can't quite figure out, the owners -- who have locked out their players because they won't accept a deal that prevents the owners from paying the players what they would otherwise negotiate -- have the sympathy of quite a significant portion of the public. Or at least some bloggers.

Anyway, all along I have felt that the NHLPA is missing an opportunity to both scare the owners and win over some fans. It's a simple plan, but a good one.

If I were running the union, I'd tell all the players to report to their team's towns. In each city I would set up a hockey team and find an arena -- even if only a small one is available. I'd put all the people who should be Maple Leafs in blue and white uniforms and have them play games against people in red and white from Detroit, etc.

The owners have talked about replacement players, but I think a much more viable solution is replacement management.

After all, what else do these NHL owners own, except a monopoly, some brand names and trademarks, and some leases on arenas?


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