From interpreting provincial labour laws (cited in the letters to the CHL and HC) which are being applied to define the relationship that exists between the 1405 players and their 60 teams, it is clear that players are employees and are owed a substantial amount of back pay, easily in the 10's of millions.
Of all four NHL lockouts in the past 21 years, this one seems the laziest. This just seems like it's been a long summer and your kid doesn't want to wake up before 8 a.m. for the first time in two months. This lockout is the snooze button on a season that was coming too fast, especially since it's clear negotiations didn't "start" until the 11th hour, or not at all.
I must admit it bothers me when I look at the cost of a ticket to attend an NHL game (or almost any other pro sports event) as I wonder how this money could be used all around the world and here at home to help children and their families who are facing poverty and despair. Luckily, three NHL stars have joined forces to help World Vision Canada to help thousands of children facing hunger in West Africa.
For whatever, reason, Canadians and hockey fans have tended to direct their glare at the players. They misguidedly view their occasional idiocy and always-present lack of financial knowledge with blame. With all due respect to Canadians, our values of socialism and unity are flawed. At least, in this case.
The most compelling subject line from a press release I have received -- ever (keep in mind that I am a parenting editor so the stuff doesn't usually get that racy) -- was this: "Sunscreen Can Stunt Penis Growth in Boys --Yes, It's True According to Dr. Martha Howard." I haven't done the research to enquire if there is any basis for this claim, but I did want to share the fact that this is the latest in our world of everything-is-bad-for-your-kids these days.
Darryl Sutter, for all intents and purposes, is the best coach in the National Hockey League. His hand is ever-steady. He controls his players through some kind of impenetrable Jedi mind trick. But Sutter doesn't even seem to care. His acceptance of the Kings' coaching job a few months ago seemed like charity work. Yet, here we are again, with the Kings leading a series 3-0 and showing no signs of letting up.
Less than a year ago the thought of Tim Thomas donning a Leafs jersey would have implanted a CN Tower-sized grin across my face. But then he went from Tim Thomas, hockey god, to Tim Thomas, Tea Partier. This kicks down the mental door that separates two of my unwavering, and usually frustrating, passions; hockey and politics.
Canada is a hockey nation and always will be a hockey nation. But we are a big country with a lot more going on. While hockey is in the penalty box, perhaps it's time to embrace our winners already at the podium. As a country we punch way above our weight in the arts. This weekend the Governor General's Performing Arts Awards celebrates its 20th anniversary as the nation's highest honour for our most notable artists.