When President Barack Obama previously opined on the NHL lockout, he was on "The Tonight Show" and told Jay Leno that "ya'll should be able to figure this out. Get this done."
"Ya'll" in that case being the NHL owners and players.
On Thursday, Obama was asked about the lockout again, because that's what happens when you're interviewed by a Minnesota television reporter. Frank Vascellaro spoke with the president at The White House about the fiscal cliff, but found time for this question about the NHL work stoppage:
Frank: Minnesota's known as the state of hockey, and we're under the NHL lockout right now. Would you be willing to intervene in that lockout?
President Obama: You know, look. I've got to say, because we've had an NBA lockout, we've had an NFL lockout during the course of my presidency, the president of the United States shouldn't have to get involved in a sports lockout. My message to owners and to players is, you guys make a lot of money and you make a lot of money on the backs of fans, so do right by your fans. You can figure out how to spread out a bunch of revenue that you're bringing in, but do right by the people who support you. And I shouldn't have to be involved in a dispute between really wealthy players and even wealthier owners. They should be able to settle this themselves. And remember who it is that's putting all that money in their pockets.
A clip of that interview question can be found about a minute into this video.
First off: That is some glorious populism by the president, as "wealthy players and even wealthier owners" make billions off the broken backs of Joe Popcorn and Sally Slapshot.
But more importantly: What would make Tim Thomas' head explode faster? That the federal government — be it mediators or the president himself — is getting involved in a labor dispute in private industry? Or that Obama is arguing that a redistribution of wealth will "do right by the fans" and end the lockout? "First they came for our HRR ..."
(For what it's worth: The CBA would be settled had Vice President Joe Biden been brought in to obnoxiously laugh during every negotiation.)