The NHL will claim it had no choice but to cancel the first two weeks of regular-season games, but Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle told CSNBayArea he thinks the owners just want to see the players squirm.
“I don’t think they’re serious about doing anything until we start missing some checks,” Boyle repeated, after skating at Sharks Ice on Thursday morning.
The veteran also takes a dim view of NHL commissioner Gary Bettman needing just eight of 30 votes to veto any CBA proposals.
Boyle, therefore, seems to believe that there is a select group of owners – the big money makers, especially – that are willing to hold up the entire process, ignore other owners that would be more open to the players' proposal, and cancel more and more games until they get exactly what they want. That includes, of course, an immediate reduction in current player salaries and contracts, something that the union has emphatically stated it would not accept.
“I think when players make comments, sometimes it’s directed towards 30 owners, but I think a lot of us feel that it’s not across the board. It’s a certain group of teams that are controlling 30 others,” Boyle said.
“It doesn’t make any sense to me that eight teams can control the fate of 22 other ones.”
Boyle and Ryane Clowe said last week that the players are prepared to make concessions such as possible caps on contract lengths, or perhaps stricter rules to prevent teams from circumventing the salary cap, but the NHL doesn’t seem to want to listen to .
“I think we have to give back. There are a lot of things that we need to fix, and we want to give back,” he said. “They say it’s our turn, or whatever, but they don’t want to negotiate until we start missing some checks.”
Boyle sees no reason to believe the lockout will end any time soon.
“I don’t see anything happening for the next couple months. I know that’s very pessimistic of me, and I really hope I’m wrong. But the eight guys…what if there’s 22 teams out there that want to play right now? How do eight teams control their fate? That bothers me the most.”