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Owners Need Talent, Talent Needs A Place To Play

He shoots, he scores!
He shoots, he scores!

Not one person ever has said "My favourite NHL moment was when Daryl Katz went top shelf on Craig Leipold.

--Reddit user Scratchyscratch, on the labor situation.

When the NFL players union went on strike in 1987, the owners decided to forge ahead without them. The league cancelled the first the weeks of the season, then brought in scabs for weeks 4-6. The owners thought the move would force the players to give in, but when the attendance numbers came in, the players and owners realized just how much the players controlled the situation

Attendance was off by 80-90% which wasn't enough to pay even the replacement players, let alone make any money. It's that base requirement - talented players to play the game at it's highest level - which invalidates the argument that the owners assume all of the risk, and without that assumption of risk the players' entire industry would not exist. The owners do take on risk, though it's been heavily mitigated by municipal contributions to build and finance arenas, but the owners need talent. The NFL's replacement player experiment demonstrated the average fan's willingness to watch inferior talent.

This entire exercise is about getting the most for your own, but it doesn't make one side greedier than the other. Until one side walks out or locks out, that is.