SUN Hockey Pool

March Madness is listening to NHL

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 11:41 AM ET

For those of you who are still paying attention, there are a few things about the NHL lockout that will drive you crazier than somebody who picked the Syracuse Orange to make it the Final Four (or, the case of some columnists, to the final). First off is the staggering amount of attention those of us in the media pay to the announcement of another meeting between the NHL owners and players.

Dunno if you've been following them, but NOTHING happens at these meetings.

Media outlets fall all over themselves to be the first to announce the "secret location" of the meeting, like anybody cares.

Unless they're both in a barrel going over Niagara Falls -- which I would pay to see, by the way -- I don't care where the meeting is taking place.

I know the media outlets want to know where the meeting is taking place so they can get those always-compelling shots of a sour-faced Bob Goodenow or a sour-faced Gary Bettman going into/coming out of the meeting.

At that meeting, one side or the other makes a presentation and then both sides issue terse, two-paragraph press releases that basically say, "We hate them."

Another thing I can't understand, other than what exactly is a catamount, is how the owners and players could get relatively close to having a deal -- the owners gave up linkage and the players agreed to a cap -- but both have now retreated to their original positions.

What? Having a sham of a 28-game regular season was important enough to move off of those supposedly sacrosanct positions, but the chance to save an 82-game season next year isn't worth it?

With so much more at stake?

Stupid.

At least we have March Madness.

But if Illinois doesn't make it to the final now, I'm going to be looking like Bob Goodenow or Gary Bettman going into/coming out of the next meeting.

chris.stevenson@ott.sunpub.com


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