Speaking Out Against The NHL

His name really isn’t that popular around Buffalo for what he did or didn’t do when he was president of the club and minority owner, but Larry Quinn chimes in with Pierre Lebrun on the current lockout and negotiations, and he is siding with the players.

Quinn, who survived the Adelphia ownership scandal to work his way back up to the top of the Buffalo Sabres organization, was on the owners side of things the last lockout; however that may only have been because he had to be.  Not eligible for fines by the league because he is no longer a part of the organization or the NHL, Quinn questions the way players are being led by current negotiator and union leader.

It is not public knowledge that every owner is for the lockout, and not every player unwilling to take a pay cut to play hockey – so maybe its a good thing that a former owner of small market team speaks up, at least indirectly for those small market clubs he once represented.  We will never know if Terry Pegula is against or for the current CBA.  With his love of the game and the push for a championship in Buffalo, one has to believe that he is as against the lockout as the players and the fans are.

As far as I can tell there has been no energy devoted in these negotiations to figuring out how to improve the game.

Coming out of the last lockout, the Buffalo Sabres, despite their inability to win a championship, appeared to be models of what the new NHL should look like, using their speed and skill to win over the hearts and minds of disenfranchised fans with their scoring prowess.  Quinn is upset that nothing is being done in this lockout to make the game appear “better”.  Since the last lockout, while profits and revenues have grown, the game has slid back at least in some respects to pre-lockout “rules” that hindered skill players from playing the game.

That needs to happen just as much as agreeing on a financial number, because the more interesting the game is to watch, the more people are going to look to spend money.

Maybe its time for more former executives from the league to stand up and voice their opinions for or against the league, it might be a little outside pressure necessary to get a deal finished.

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