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Listen on TSN690 as NHL ratifies CBA

The NHL Board of Governors has ratified the CBA, announcement coming soon. Gary Bettman will be holding his billionth press conference of the season live on TSN 690 in a few moments.

Christina Pedersen Gets an F(-Bomb)

For years, Canadian comedy troupe the Royal Canadian Air Farce have been firing chicken cannons and F-Bombing worthy targets for scorn on their annual New Years' Eve TV special. Past targets have included former President George W. Bush (chosen as top target many times during his Presidency), and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. This year, as chosen by their viewers, they've included a special target -- skip ahead to about 41 minutes in, and you will see. She didn't quite beat out a haggle of corrupt mayors, but it's damn close. Our national healing is officially complete -- thank you, Air Farce! (N.B. -- The video is Canada only...oops!)

More canceled games, season in danger

So I think we can all assume that this is no longer worth a full article, but a writeup must be done. We're used to the NHL canceling games by now, but this time it comes with an assumed drop date for the league. What does that mean? Well it means that if no CBA is reached by January 15th, the NHL is going nuclear and taking out the season. All the legal stuff that's been going on the past couple weeks seems to make that deadline a hell of a challenge to meet, so the doomsday sayers can begin their chanting now. Well, the doomsday sayers in regards to the NHL. People who think the world is going to end tomorrow (today in Australia and New Zealand) are still really, really stupid. 625 games have been canceled thus far, over 50% of the NHL schedule.

NHL Cancels Schedule Through November 1st

You make us fly all the way up to Toronto, then show us three proposals we don't like? Oh yeah? Take this! Harrumph!

NHL Lockout: Each Side Spins Euphemisms Over Money

I get asked a lot in various media what I think of the pending NHL lockout. This post for SB Nation's NHL hub sums up my thoughts. (Only 630 words!) Or, in about 40 words: I'm not aligned to either side. Both have done quite well under the current CBA and will do quite well under the next one. Both leaders are very clever men whose public statements are to be seen as negotiating tactics, and nothing more. I'd rather talk about Bridgeport now.

So now what are we supposed to do?

Best line in Lance Hornby's report. "Bettman and union executive director Donald Fehr couldn't even agree on who decided to end the talks Friday, Bettman insisting he was free to chat and Fehr offering to talk about minor CBA points." Coming Soon: "Bulldogs and Nailers Eyes on The Prize"

Why the NHL Needs the Sunbelt

Good stuff here from Slate blogger Matt Yglesias: The issue is the bifurcated cable television markets in North America. Right now, hockey has a national broadcast deal in Canada and it has another one in the United States. Losing the national deal in the USA would be very costly to the entire enterprise. But to maintain that national deal, the NHL has to present itself as offering a true nationwide sports league which means you need teams in the sunbelt. Atlanta's departure didn't leave too much of a hole in the map since there are teams in North Carolina and Tennessee. Probably any one of the remaining non-Dallas sunbelt teams is expendable, but if you lost more than one to colder climes you might start imperiling the League's claim to be a real major sports across the length and breadth of the United States. Offered in response to The Economist. Update: In case you missed it, more of my thoughts on the future of national television broadcasts for the NHL from March 30.

The NHL Was Running the Stars?

I leave that judgment to the reader, but a very interesting post from Tyler Dellow. With a username like "Bettman's Nightmare," I felt obligated to include this link.

Larry Brooks comments on the Dale Hunter History Will Be Made Commercial

Via the NY Post: While Brooks is often off the mark with the Isles, his take on the '93 team and the aftermath of the Hunter cheap shot really hits the mark. Notable quotes: "The NHL's celebration of Dale Hunter as part of its playoff "History Will Be Made" promotion is nothing less than sickening." "Understand that a healthy, undamaged Turgeon never in a million years would have been traded to the Canadiens for Kirk Muller less than two years later in the deal that debilitated the organization."

Hulsizer Says Coyotes Not a "Smart Investment"

But he will MAKE them a smart investment, damnit! Seriously, though, how did Bettman bend this guy over a barrel? Are there risque pictures somewhere? Some might say he's being realistic; supposedly he has to present a plan to turn around the Coyotes' fortunes during the negotiations. I'd be interested to hear what he'll do beyond (hopefully) fielding a competitive team, as that doesn't appear to be enough. Here's Five For Howling's take.

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