PLAYERS CAN UNDERSTAND BOTH NHL SIDES



A year ago, Awrey began his tour business, taking busloads of hockey fans to Montreal to see the play at the Forum. He had dreams of making 30 trips this season, more than a 100 percent increase in business, but the venture remains suspended while NHL owners and players haggle over the dollars and intricacies of a new collective bargaining agreement. The players don’t want to agree to a salary cap, all the while insisting they form a true partnership with the owners. If a deal can’t be struck so that games can be played by Jan. 16, there will be no season.

“OK, so an owner puts up $50 million or $100 million to buy a team. He has to make a percentage on his investment, right? So what if he makes 30 percent or 40 percent, he’s the guy who stuck his neck out in the first place. If he makes money, good for him. He has all the employees, he’s the guy paying everybody, and as a player, all you should care about is, Am I being paid a fair salary?’ Now they want us to understand when they say, We have principles, and we aren’t going to back down.’ Come on. Something’s wrong.”

“It grates on my ears,” he said. “The players say their careers are short and, for most of them, sure, yeah, it’s a short career. The average guy plays five years and then he’s out there at age 25 or 27. Hey, it’s time to look hockey jerseys form china
for another job then, that’s all; you’re still young, you can work. It wasn’t long ago I remember McDonnell Douglas laid off something like 4,000 workers, and a lot of those guys were 50 55. You know what? They had to find new livelihoods. Me, I was 30, I had to do it. These guys today, they make it sound like, because they played hockey, they can’t do anthing else once they’re done playing.”

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