And who does Spector feel should head up this hockey czar office? Brendan Shanahan, of course...
"Shanahan would be what the public believes a commissioner should be: the person tasked with ensuring the future of the league and publicly accountable for what happens. What a commissioner really is, is Gary Bettman, a hard-edged negotiator who cares deeply about the game, but ultimately represents the owners, rather than the public trust—the reason, ostensibly, that Major League Baseball made Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis the first commissioner in sports in 1920. When athletes became unionized, the job changed forever, and it is time to finally recognize that."
Spector adds that with the hockey czar office being funding by 1% of hockey related revenue, it would be beholden to neither the owners nor the players, and could make decisions that are in the interests of both parties and the fans.
During the 2004-05 lockout, Shanahan spearheaded a two-day summit in Toronto that brought together both sides of the disagreement to help lay out a plan for the post-lockout NHL.
...both sides have proved time and again that coming up with a new CBA is second to winning the PR war, so I like the out-of-the-box thinking by Spector here. Since neither the owners nor the players can be grown-ups about the situation, why not bring in an independent group who can.
...having said that, I'm not sure Shanahan is the guy to do it anymore. A lot of the shine has come off the former Ranger since being named head of the Department of Player Safety after numerous questionable suspensions and non-suspensions this past year. Plus I doubt the NHLPA would agree to appoint a member of the NHL hierarchy to run this new office.
...Wayne Gretzky anyone?
So Shanny huh.. I would rather choke myself with my own intestines. That guy can't even call a good hit from a dirty one and they think he would be a good mediator? Please.. I can see his messages in my head.. "Hi I'm Brendan Shanahan and blah blah blah."
"Hi I'm Brendan Shanahan the NHL's Senior Vice President of Player's Safety. I have decided due to carelessness and greed to suspend all the owners as well as permanently ban Commissioner Gary Bettman from ever stepping foot in any NHL business again. As you can see here, 3 work stoppages in 18 years shows just how much of an idiot this guy truly is."
If they woud ever be serious aboot this type of idea, Ken Dryden would be a good choice. Canadian (game comes first), Hall of Famer (as a player), former Lawyer, former Parliment member. Sure he's on the older side, but he would be a good guy to start an office like this.
This is something I've always felt the league needed. Kind of like the UK monarchs, someone to represent the league to the world, present the cup, maybe some politicking in regards to expansion/consolidation/moving.
The League =/= the owners. The League is the sport of hockey, the fans who pay the bills and, above all, Lord Stanley's Cup!
@TheNYRBlog @TheWrage Shanahan locked out the NHL to get back at us for the skit that made fun of him at the NHL Awards #CheekyBastard
Depends. Does the CBA need to be suspended for doing nothing wrong or not suspended for trying to kill someone? If so, Shanny is definitely the answer.
Is there anything in the league's bylaws that would prevent them from seeking 3rd party arbitration to resolve this?
@TheNYRBlog what about Messier? He could lay on the guilt trip with his tears as a negotiating tactic
This idea seems like having a negotiator at a divorce settlement. Which seems like what this is, a former couple bickering over who gets to keep the dog. Could this be another thing to add to the legacy of "The Great One" if he solves this potential lockout before it does any damage? I like your thinking there, Kevin.
I like the view of a 3rd party. It is pretty obvious that these two sides need some help. Somebody has to get them locked in a room and start talking. I don't understand how they can go days without any real communication.