Trending Topics is a column that looks at the week in hockey, occasionally according to Twitter. If you're only going to comment to say how stupid Twitter is, why not just go have a good cry for the slow, sad death of your dear internet instead?
Remember last week?
They said, "Hey we're pulling Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr out of these negotiations, and letting players and owners talk face-to-face about their views."
The purpose of this, we were told, was to find more common ground with less posturing.
And we all laughed. Well, most of us.
After all, the NHL's contingent, six strong, included super-hawk owners like Jeremy Jacobs and Murray Edwards. Lining up opposite however-many players — turned out it was a whopping 18 — with no legal representation didn't seem the most conducive environment to laying the groundwork for any sort of deal, did it? These were businessmen, shrewd and mostly battle-hardened from past labor skirmishes, against guys who likely had little to no business background, and, if rumors were to be believed, had already spent previous meeting snickering up their sleeves at whatever the players had to say.
Add in the fact that both sides were to be drilled by Fehr and Bettman as to what they should and should not say, and it seemed on the outside that the acrimony was just too thick and frozen over for even the most moderate representatives on both sides to crack.
This wasn't going to be an easy or particularly pleasant Tuesday for either side.
But then everyone started, in increments, to see things the other side's way. Against all odds, so it would seem. The hockey world lost its collective mind. Sid Crosby and Rob Burkle, who reportedly flew to New York City from Pittsburgh together, came in as a sort of unified front in trying to get a deal done when others might have wanted to be more combative. "The Penguins save the NHL!" and all that kind of stuff.
Consequently, the two warring factions met for hours and hours and hours, went to dinner, came back, kept meeting. Christ, there was even a joint press conference featuring Bill Daly and Steve Fehr, who just over a week prior had been accused by his counterpart in the league of intentionally misleading players and stalling an agreement for ends that, well, who knows what they were?
Unbridled optimism ruled the day, though many very curiously couched it as being "cautious" despite the fact that the reaction to it was anything but. It was closer, in fact, to being hysterical optimism. People started tweeting about comeback scenarios.
Had GMs told coaches to start working out some stuff for training camps? Had teams contacted players? How many games might there be in this season? How does that affect advertising dollars? When might this season start? What possible layout might the schedule itself have?
I was as guilty as anyone of getting caught up in the hoopla.
Finally, the NHL really and truly and definitely looked like it was totally and completely and finally going to come back after abandoning fans lo these past two months. Call your local cable provider, guys and gals, you'll be staying up until 1 a.m. watching west coast games before you know it.
It all seemed a little convenient to some, and that was understandable as well.
Read More »from NHL fans: This is what we get for falling for it (Trending Topics)