With the NHL lockout fully engaged in a stalemate and the players helplessly watching as they lost their fourth pay check on Friday, the NHLPA figured their players deserve a financial break. It was announced on the weekend that the NHLPA has approved a $10,000 stipend for the players in lieu of the latest round of pay checks to fall by the way side, a move that is hard to feel good about.
Is it even right that this group of locked out millionaires receive any type of pity when they are half of the reason to blame for the third lockout in the last twenty years? Granted the stipend comes from the player’s association so it’s easy to understand why they ‘re getting the money.
But why can’t they suffer through this lockout and be faced with the realization that maybe the longer they sit out and refuse to help move the process along to a new CBA then the more the less money they’ll receive over the course of this year? Sure ten grand is not a lot of money for these player and it is a nice gesture right around the holiday season. But what about the employees of teams that have already been laid off like in Edmonton and Florida to name a couple. Or how about the Wild employees that will see a 20% reduction in their wages after the holidays, which is far better than being laid off. With no clear end in sight to the lockout that could be the next cold reality facing the every day worker.
Instead we have overpaid millionaires who have to adjust their way of life because they’ve missed three paychecks. Think of the average employee making an average salary and what would happen to him if he missed three pay checks. His family would likely be out on the street. And he wouldn’t qualify for a ten thousand dollar stipend if his company decided to lock him out of work.
So it’s a little difficult to get a warm and fuzzy feeling for the players receiving this money when I think about the position they’re currently in. If they so desperately needed to receive their normal pay checks they’d be putting a lot more pressure on Donal Fehr to get a deal done so they could return to game action.
A source of mine informed me of a conversation he had with a NHL player this past summer. He asked the player how he would be financially before adjustments needed to be made. His response was that he was good for a year and a half because of his financial planning over the years but that the average player would only be good for three months.
Isn’t it odd that we are approaching the 80 day mark and here we see the first sign of players needing some money in order to avoid making changes to their high profiled lives. Sorry if I don’t shed a tear for them.
Maybe losing the entire year will be good for both sides and make them appreciate the game a little more because right now they’re taking it and the fans for granted.
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