"high five me if you love escrow" was a bad idea.
That comes on the heels of recent agreements that saw both the NFL and MLB sign new deals without missing any games. So with three of North America's big four sports leagues having found labour peace, all eyes now shift back to the NHL. With the league's current collective bargaining agreement set to expire before next season, hockey fans are hoping that negotiations go more smoothly than they did the last time around.
So what will be the major issues in the next NHL CBA? That depends on who you talk to. As it turns out, everyone seems to have a different opinion on which issues should be top priorities. Here's a look at what various stakeholders around the NHL say they'd like to see changed in the league's next CBA:
Brendan Shanahan - Would like to increase the maximum player fine from the current $2,500; failing that, would at least like the players to stop paying it by grabbing a fistful of spare change, throwing it at me from their car window, then laughing and speeding off.
Alexander Ovechkin - I've repeatedly argued that the NHL give Russian players the chance to compete in the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, although to be honest you should probably also check with some of the guys who will make the team.
Kyle Turris - Pass a rule banning pointless holdouts where the player misses two months and doesn't get anything he was asking for, or at least have someone tell my agent that you did.
Scott Gomez - Realize that buyouts of guaranteed contracts will be up for discussion in the next CBA, but would still prefer if Jacques Martin and Pierre Gauthier didn't dramatically pack a suitcase for me during every intermission "just in case".
ESPN - Wait, did you say the 2004-2005 lockout ended? I guess we probably should have been showing some highlights or something over the last seven years.
Pittsburgh Penguins - Losing another season would be an absolute last resort, but if it comes to that let's make just sure that our old pal Gary gets to run the draft lottery again, wink wink. Wait, don't write that last part down.
Cory Schneider - So a work stoppage is when you just sit around every night and don't ever get to play any actual hockey? Hmm, I guess I should go ask Roberto what that's like.
Donald Fehr - Nothing helps set the stage for a long day of negotiating like an extra-large coffee first thing in the morning, but it's still kind of awkward to pull up to that drive-through window on days that Paul Kelly is working.
Phoenix Coyotes - Don't really care what's in next season's CBA, but are going to need to make sure it's translated into French. Uh, no reason.
Buffalo Sabres - Since we're renegotiating things, any chance we could update "the code" so that your goalie getting run over doesn't somehow make you obligated to let all the Boston Bruins punch you in the face repeatedly the next time you play?
Jay Feaster - We definitely need some sort of new rule where you're allowed to trade old, overpaid players for younger, cheaper ones. Wait, what? Oh man, since when?
Gary Bettman - Already know that Donald Fehr has a history of tough negotiating on behalf of his players without much regard for the impact on the league and its teams, so there's really no need for him to rub it in by wearing a Montreal Expos cap to every bargaining session.