It's been a long time coming, the NHL is back and I'm ecstatic about that. Unlike some fans, I'm not boycotting or anything. I'll watch my favorite team plus many other games, I'll enjoy it and probably even spend my hard earned money to go watch games. Which is my right as a fan.

What's gone on over the last 4 months has been a complete gong show to say the least. Temper tantrums, pouting and walking out on meetings.
As a fan, it's been a nightmare to watch and with social media covering every detail its been much worse then it was back in 2004-05.

This time around, the lockout was even more unnecessary. They weren't improving the quality of the game like last time. They just were trying to line their pockets even more (the owners) an trying to keep as much money as they could (the players). In the end, it doesn't bother me all that much. A lot of people won't agree but the owners and players need to lookout for themselves sometimes, and, if I was in their place, I probably would do the same thing.

I understand why the owners needed changes, I just don't understand why Jeremy Jacobs was one of the big men. I thought it would be the small market teams, the ones losing all the money but reports kept coming out they were being silenced by the big boys. If there's anything that angered me during his lockout it's that the owners doing the fighting were the rich ones who seemed to just want to make more an pay the players less. They didn't have a care in the world for the small market teams who are BLEEDING money. That would be totally justified but the fact of the matter is this is a business and in a business you want to make money and lookout for yourself.  If anything frustrated me, it was that.

A lot of people will say "why wasn't this deal made sooner!" And my answer to that is you don't give your best deal until it gets close to the "deadline". Everyone knows September 15th wasn't the deadline, it was the date with which the season would be cancelled. As it turns out, it was somewhere around mid January. Any good negotiator knows these facts. It's not rocket science. If there's no leverage or a drop dead date, no one is going to take things seriously knowing there's still time to get more from the other side. When things started, the players share was down to 43% with no Make Whole provision. When the deal was made, the players got 50% and $300 million to go towards paying currently signed contracts. The latter was a huge win for the players, sorta.

Looking at what the tentative deal is it looks like the players did very well. They've made sure they get all or most of the money already owed them in current deals, they moved the owners from 5 year term limits to 7 (8 if you're resigning) and got a pension. Other then going down to 50-50 I don't see a very big lose here for the players but we'll find that out down the road.

In the end, I'm very excited hockey is back. I won't boycott, I'll pay money and watch as much as possible because that's just who I am, I'm a diehard.

Disagree? Let me know. I always like a good debate! Follow me on twitter @jessturr


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