All Philadelphia Flyers' fans should get behind the National Hockey League's newest proposal if it legitimately splits all revenues. Anyone who argues that either the players, or the owners, deserve more is actually a politician and not a real hockey fan.
I, like anyone who isn't involved in current negotiations between the League and the Players' Association, don't claim to have detailed knowledge about this potentially encouraging offer. What I do know is that I want to see every NHL hockey player who is in Europe schedule a return trip home, so that the regular season can begin on this continent.
Taking alternative measures
I'm glad that modern technology allows us to follow the Adirondack Phantoms' American Hockey League games through an online radio feed. Sean Couturier, Brayden Schenn and the rest of our ice boys will surely benefit from whatever amount of minor league seasoning they can get during this period of professional darkness.
It's also cool to be able to read real-time internet-based updates about current Flyers like Claude Giroux and Danny Briere while they are playing in Germany. I would definitely sign a contract to play hockey in another country if it offered a quality atmosphere and a way for me to keep my hockey skills alive.
Having access to sharp new media sources has allowed the early period of this lockout to be different for me (us) than that lost 2004-05 season was. Back then there weren't nearly as many ways to stay connected with our hockey heroes.
The longer the lockout continues, the less likely it is that hockey fans are going to embrace the status quo. Sure, the novelty of using computers, smartphones and other digital paraphernalia to follow these alternative hockey stories is appealing. However, nothing replaces attending, watching or listening to actual NHL games.
Players' Association response
I'm not someone who views Commissioner Gary Bettman, or Players' Association Executive Director Donald Fehr in a negative light. Both business men are representing their own interests. That's what capitalism is all about.
Fans knowingly choose to buy the NHL's hockey product. It's not a decision that they are forced to make.
Fehr's fame was gained in a different sport, so it will be interesting to see how he continues to handle these negotiations. He knows that hockey holds a different place within the culture than baseball does. Both he and Bettman also understand North America's current economic conditions.
I'm hoping that both sides are moving to the point where a fair-minded, fair-share, compromise can be reached.
Sean O'Brien is based in the Philadelphia region. He was a freelance sports writer for five years and is currently a Featured Contributor in Sports for the Yahoo Contributor Network! You can follow him on Twitter @SeanyOB and also read his daily Sports Blog: Insight.
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