NHL DROPS SCAB THREAT April 21, 2005 -- Instead of dropping the Big One, the NHL disarmed it, a hopeful bombshell in itself. Meeting in midtown yesterday, the Board of Governors surprisingly shelved for summer the threat of opening with scab players in October. The league's move may have been the response to wise legal opinion, the result of individual teams' distaste for the scheme, or simply a rare conciliatory act. The NHL has already won its ideological salary cap battle at the expense of its season and playoffs, but could reconsider using scabs if the season is postponed. http://www.nypost.com/sports/44986.htm It is the NY POST, but is pretty widely reported, just grabbed this one and could have grabbed any. As my own commentary, it is a pretty good move as it puts quite a bit of pressure on the players. The NHL said as well that they are perfectly willing to postpone next year. I think that Goodenow has sold at least some players on the thought that they would win it all back and more in court. The last thing that I would want if a player is the loss of another very precious year if the few that I had to earn, and now lose any chance of ever getting that back. It is true, the owners hurt under this scenerio as well, but not nearly as much as the individual players. Hockey was in the unique position among sports of not having very much to lose. They were at the bottom. Lose another year? Bad, but does anyone truly think that the league, when it comes back, would be in a much worse starting position after two seasons off than they will be next year? The bottom is the bottom. Now factor in not getting the right deal if the NHL caves just to start the season? No, I truly believe that the NHL can outwait the union, and if willing to do so the players can never even set foot in a NLRB hearing. This is bad news for the players, and yes, bad news for us unless the players break as it could mean a loss of season number two.