Random midsummer thoughts on the NHL, while pondering whether Commish For Life Gary Bettman can coax along a collective bargaining agreement and avoid what would be a third lockout since he took office Feb. 1, 1993:
■ I get that CBAs have an expiration date. And I also get how all parts are connected in collective bargaining agreements. I just don’t get why the two sides (in all sports) have to run down the clock before agreeing how to divvy up the goodies in what is a very robust business — revenues $3 billion-plus. The current CBA was implemented out of Lockout II, which had everyone finally back on the job in October 2005. If the deal needed to be groomed or amended, why not have both sides begin working on significant issues after, say, two or four or five years? Smart, reasonable, visionary leadership on both sides (again, in all sports), shouldn’t need the dread of an expiration date (Sept. 15 in this case) to run a business effectively. Players should demand more of their union bosses. Owners deserve better from their leadership. Hockey is a sport that deals with transition every second of the game. As a business, all the players involved, in both uniforms and suits, fail miserably at governing a working document they often refer to as a marriage. Seems they only get around to caring about, understanding, and working on that marriage when they’re on the steps of divorce court.