Thursday, March 03, 2005

Bobby Clarke still remembers he's from Flin Flon

Bobby Clarke has stated that Bob Goodenow is ruining the game of hockey.

"He's done nothing but take from the game and now he's fighting for power," Clarke told The Canadian Press.

"He doesn't want to lose power, he doesn't want to lose his control over the players and he doesn't want to lose as much of the control he's had over the game over the last 10-12 years. But when he had that power, he ruined it."

"Someone has to grab Goodenow by the throat and tell him, 'Look after the Canadian cities, the majority of the players still come from Canada,'" Clarke said. "It's our sport and, to me, Goodenow has shown no interest in helping build the game and helping sell the game. "

Its unfair and wrong to lay all the blame at Bob Goodenow's feet. Gary Bettmen and the ownership of the NHL developed a plan where they were going to expand and develop a viewing audience in the American television market which never materialized, while the salaries spiked as if they had. In that sense the owners are at fault for the precarious state of the Canadian franchises as much as the union.

On the other hand Goodenow and the union have been completely unreasonable and didn't even bother to engage in serious negotiations until the 11th hour. They don't have anything resembling a realistic outlook on the finances of the NHL and they seem to be hell bent on creating a league where the Canadian teams will fold and teams in Miami with empty stands will continue to lose hundreds of millions of dollars a year. In that respect I feel quite comfortable standing shoulder to shoulder with Bobby Clarke and saying "j'accuse". If you still hockey's beating heart the rest of the body is not far from death.


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