Sunday, January 6, 2013

The NHL is back! Dear Devils, please don't call Johnny

Late last night the NHL players and owners reached an agreement on the framework of a new collective bargaining agreement and thus will begin the process of putting in place some sham 48 game season starting later this month. Johnny will no doubt have more analysis on the deal later but it would appear that Gary Bettman finally met his negotiating match in Donald Fehr. Fehr didn't care if the season got cancelled. The players he represented cared but were willing to take a ziggy on a season. The owners, who Bettman no doubt told the players union would fold again, were not willing to waste an entire season. So off we go on a truncated NHL season. And a commissioner who looks worse if possible than he did eight months ago.

Which brings us to the fact the Devils ticket office will now be working overtime to get butts in the seats to not watch Zach Parise play (remember Zach Parise?). While not a season ticket holder Johnny does attend quite a few games out at the Rock as he prefers the building to the one at MSG which is cramped, dark, and people wander around too much during play for Johnny's tastes. The Islanders can't get to Brooklyn fast enough. So, Devils ticket sellers, you're going to call Johnny. The first time he will be polite in telling you that your owner, Jeff Vanderbeek is part of the ownership problem in the NHL and just cost the league half a season and countless goodwill. The ticket agent will be reminded politely that Vanderbeek is a "taker" when it comes to team revenues. Vanderbeek happily accepts money from the Canadiens, Maple Leafs, Red Wings and other successful teams, like the Rangers.

All this will be explained in a friendly matter-of-fact way. THE FIRST TIME ONLY. Call back and you'll get the wrath of the scorned NHL fan. Yes, this is a breakup letter with the Devils. No more. 

So the NHL is back yet sadly Gary Bettman still walks the earth. Ah well, you can't get everything you want on one day. 

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