The early bird gets the good seats

Hockey fans wanting to guarantee themselves spectator status for the coming season should get them while the getting's good

Hockey fans wanting to guarantee themselves spectator status for the coming season should be heading down to wherever they get their Junior A and B season tickets while some are still on, “Early Bird,” sale.

It seems more and more likely that the NHL’s 2012-13 season will take place only in 2013, if it takes place at all.

For the Smoke Eaters, that deal lasts through Sunday. The Nitehawks have no mention of a pre-camp discount on their website.

The NHL seems to have bought into the right wing rhetoric current in the U.S. – that the wealthy (owners) deserve to have more money, regardless of how well they operate their personal businesses (teams) or their combined business (the league as a whole).

It’s not, of course the poor, as in, “The poor have too much money and the rich don’t have enough,” that the current Republican leadership espouses. The players are wealthy, too, if much less so on average than the owners.

But the attitude is much the same in the current contract negotiations, with the NHL demanding, as they did seven years ago, that the players take large income cuts so the owners can increase theirs.

You remember that the last lockout, in 2004-05, concluded with a pro-ownership deal that Gary Bettman insisted would, “fix hockey for a generation.”

Well, for the owners, who have seen NHL revenues rise 50 per cent since that deal, generations aren’t what they used to be.

Not every team is thriving financially and in their minds it is all the fault of high player salaries, even under a hard salary cap and even though owners have been elbowing each other out of the way in the fight to proffer those salaries.

There are other crunching details in the NHL’s proposal, like doubling the career time required before a player can be a free agent and eliminating long term (five years, max) contracts that have been all the rage in the past few seasons fueled by grandstanding owners outfoxing the system to offer them (Roberto Luongo, anyone?).

The players have responded with an offer to take a lot of the proposed hit, but not a 30 per cent cut in the salary cap that would drop it below the mandated salary floor per team proceeding from the current deal.

We know the players won’t strike, on Sept. 15 or any other day, but the owners are predictably bloody-minded.

The NHL’s NBC broadcast contract doesn’t kick in until Jan. 1, so it seems unlikely the league will play regular season games before that date, kicking off, perhaps, with the outdoor games in Michigan.

A lockout is not a lock, as yet, but it seems likely in the cards.

So, for the price of a trip for two to Vancouver or Calgary to take in ONE of the NHL’s often boring games, you should get down to, or phone, your junior favourite’s office and book yourself a full season of hockey entertainment for your whole family. It just makes sense – if, of course, you are actually a hockey fan.

• Don’t forget, either, that the silent auction accompanying next Sunday’s Kidney Walk at Gyro will have some very cool sports memorabilia up for bids. Lots of things to do, including breakfast and the opportunity to sign up as an organ donor, so try to make an appearance at Trail’s prettiest place.

 

Just Posted

Protestors blocking Columbia Avenue Saturday evening. Photo: Betsy Kline
Old growth protesters begin 24-hour blockade of Castlegar’s main street

Members of Extinction Rebellion plan to stay overnight

Forty sled dogs were seized by the BC SPCA from a Salmo kennel in February. A recent ruling has decided the dogs won’t be returned. Photo: Gounsil/Flickr
BC Farm Industry Review Board rules against Salmo kennel after 40 sled dogs seized

Spirit of the North Kennels was also ordered to pay BC SPCA $64,000

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

SD20 now has an electric bus. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay-Columbia School District 20 adds electric bus to fleet

Bus will be incorporated into Castlegar route for next school year

Painting by Dave Davies from Shaver’s Bench facing Teck Trail.
Happy 120th Birthday to the City of Trail!

The town of Trail Creek- or Trail Creek Landing - was incorporated as a city on June 14, 1901.

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read