UPDATED: December 7, 2004.

THE SHORT SIDE.

by Tim Stubinski

Oh, how you tease….

Hello all you ShortSiders. I hope YOUR car is starting in the morning.

So, the boys are getting together on the 9th, the first time they will have been in the same room since September 15th. Several players have mentioned that the deal they are proposing is 'significant' and that this should get the league's attention. The league will take a look at the agreement, they will all smile at each other, Bettman will look at Goodenow and say, 'now we're talking big boy!' Saskin and Daly will play fight as the grownups hammer out the particulars and we will be back in the stands before Valentine's Day.

Oh yeah, right.

These guys are still so far apart that Bettman would have to put his laughter on an MP3, mail it and it might get to Goodenow in time for Christmas. I don't need to go over what a lot smarter and more knowledgeable folks have said a thousand times in several mediums including this website but I will say this for the 3 people who read this little irregular blurb I write once in a blue moon.

Don't get your hopes up.

This league will not bend on the cap, plain simple. Call it a tax, rollback, roll-on, rollup, whatever but they are not going to concede to anything that is more or less reactive to cost. They want their budgets known and as much as this is the owner's fault (and this whole mess is totally the owner's fault) they will not yield. Why would they? They have everything going for them this time around and it is now the players who appear to be the ones that are spoiled and ridiculous. This new proposal is obviously a PR attempt as well as the player's alibi that they are doing whatever they can to get back to work. The season will be cancelled probably in the next couple of weeks and this is probably the last time the two sides will be in the same room without several more lawyers and judges present for quite some time. Why am I not confident the proposal will not be accepted? Two reasons mostly. First off, I wasn't born yesterday and secondly, why would Brendan Shanahan be getting a bunch of players together, outside of a sanctioned union meeting, to discuss what is going on? That's pretty weird stuff but it also signifies to me that many players probably are not down with this new agreement or at least, are like the rest of us; pretty sure this new agreement is full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

I have very little else to say about the lockout that hasn't been chewed on already. This thing isn't ending anytime soon but I have to admit that for the first time since September when I heard the NHLPA was bring a proposal to the league, I missed hockey.

Questions comments platitudes and song lyrics can be sent to tstub@sympatico.ca

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