We have peace in our time. Now drop the gloves and fight.
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The league's proposal increases limit on player contracts to six years from the previous offer of five years and increases the year-to-year salary variance, among other things. The main sticking point, however, remains when the owners and players will cripple the sport again with another lockout.
"The NHL insists, and will not budge on this, that the next lockout be in 2017-2018," said deputy commissioner Bill Daly. "However, the players want it no earlier than 2021-2022, which is not something we are comfortable with. More than eight years of labor peace? Not on our watch."
Commissioner Gary Bettman insists that any more than seven consecutive full seasons will cause the NHL's revenues, ratings and popularity to grow too large, leaving the league with "difficult decisions on how to share the wealth."
Bettman, and the owners, believe it is better to "essentially shut hockey down every few years to reset our fiscal books and keep everything nice and small."
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"I was looking at some ratings numbers at my desk this morning and was shocked and horrified by what I saw," said Bettman. "So I called Mark [Custance] in and asked him to explain the dramatic drop. All he had was excuses, so I let him go. Excuses don't work at this level. This is a professional sports league. For some reason, I have to keep reminding everybody of that."
Due to the NHL lockout that now looks likely to cancel the entire 2012-2013 season, the NHL Network has been forced to fill its schedule with rebroadcasts of old NHL games or live junior and minor league hockey action. Custance said he reminded Bettman of that when they spoke this morning.
"I'm not sure he understands that there are no NHL games right now," said Custance. "I think he thinks they're trying to negotiate a contract but that the games are still being played. Actually, I'm fairly positive that's what he believes. He is easily the dumbest man I have ever met or worked with."
Tim Tebow Pillar Candle ($5)
It seems every sports fan either loves or hates this Tim Tebow player!
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The listing doesn't say whether the candle is scented, but we can assume it probably smells like cedar bench.