It’s the morning after. Not the same morning after when you decided to go out all night and now have to face the consequences of your actions, but for the NHL owners and player’s union, it’s close.
Thursday was a day full of hope and promise for hockey fans and now as we head into the weekend, it’s full of gloom and despair due to the NHL and NHLPA basically laughing at each other’s proposals. The outlook is bleak but one interesting tidbit came out of the negotiations yesterday.
Wild owner, Craig Leipold is hiding behind the brave face and strong act of NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and using this lockout as a way to act tough. Referring directly to the two massive deals Leipold and the Wild handed out this past summer to Zach Parise and Ryan Suter of course, Leipold looks proud as punch to stand up behind Bettman when he addresses the media as if to say “I don’t want to pay those ridiculous contracts I handed out.”
Leipold had to have known first hand what the future held in terms of the expiring CBA when he dished out nearly $200 million dollars to just two players, but that didn’t stop him from shocking the hockey world. Now he is firmly entrenched on what appears to be the owners side and not overly keen in hammering out a new deal. That would mean he might actually have to honor Parise and Suter’s contracts.
We’ve heard all along that there are really only a handful of owners that are the main reason for the fourth lockout in the past two decades. The number thrown around is six owners and based on his actions, or lack there of recently, Leipold appears to be in that tight knit circle who is hell bent on scratching and clawing every dollar possible from the players.
The sad part is, how much money is Leipold losing by not having a season in Minnesota? All he seems to be concerned about is not honoring the contracts he was foolish enough to sign.