After weeks of downtime, the CouchTarts are back from the brink of hacker borne insanity to bring you the latest coverage of the Sharks and the 2012-2013 NHL Season, assuming we have one. Gotta say, there's nothing better than finally getting your blog back only to find that it may soon be largely irrelevant. (Ok, MORE irrelevant that usual, but let's not get pedantic here, people).
The NHL owners went to the players with what was said to be a new CBA proposal but was really just a large cardboard sign with the words "FUCK YOU" scrawled on it in crayon and magic marker. It's hard to argue that you need MORE money when you're signing guys to contracts that pay more than the gross domestic product of some small nations*, but I suppose we have to give the owners credit for trying.
The players union countered today with this offer, proposing a less drastic alternative to the owner's scorched earth version. I don't see anything in the basic overview that shows me that we won't end up in this boat another 3-4 years from now, but it's a better start than what the Owners were willing to give. The NHLPA at least seems inclined to actually try and come to a somewhat equitable deal. Will the Owners see it the same way? It looks doubtful, but maybe the idea of a season without ANY revenue will way heavily on their wallets and pressure them into actually trying to bargain, instead of holding out in hopes of more money.
The NHL would be wise to NOT delay the start of their season or even cancel it entirely. The NHL has made strides since the last lockout in 2004, including growth in markets here in California and other less "traditional" locales. Here in San Jose, the Sharks make the regular sports wrap even during the regular season, which was unheard of even a few seasons ago. People are aware of the players and the team, and the standings, even if they aren't fans. The sport is growing here. The last thing we need is to have that growth stunted by a lockout.
*may not be factually correct. I really hope it isn't