Earlier this week T-Bone broke the news that the NHL Players Association voted against realignment for next season. Feeling excluded from the decision-making process and hoping to obtain a valuable bargaining chip for the upcoming Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations, the PA and their leader Don Fehr also happened to freak us fans out in the process. The NHL’s last labor war turned out like ‘Nam, pretty much, and returning fans felt like a mix of Tom Cruise in Born on the Fourth of July and John Rambo from Rambo (Part One). There’s just no telling what losing another season would be like for the League or its fans. Since Fehr is what negotiators call a ‘bad mamajama’ and brings with him a ‘hardball’ style that NHL owners are unaccustomed to (due to their sport’s reliance on pucks), it might be time for the owners to call in a diplomatic ringer for themselves in order to avoid another lockout.
Few people out there are ready to grab the bull by the horns and the balls quite like Texas Representative Dr. Ron Paul. And if Warshington ain’t ready for him, I bet the NHL sure as hell is! Paul’s limited, small-front-office approach would put the power directly in the players’ hands. Don’t wanna wear a helmet? That’s up to you! You say you do want to use performance-enhancing drugs? Go for it! That’s a right that our founders (and God, by the way) endowed you with/didn’t expressly stop you from doing! And if you think all that might be dangerous, let me remind ya’ll that Ron Paul is Doctor, so what he sez goes! Plus, each team would get to make up their own specific rules for home games (states’ rights, dudes), which would be both interesting for spectators as well as lucrative for owners. The only losers in this scenario would be our frenemies to the north. Because of Dr. Paul’s staunch isolationist views, Canadian teams would probably be lopped off from the rest of the league. But, hey, you gotta break some big eggs if you wanna make a Texas-sized omelet.
Now if there’s one thing players and owners agree on 100%, it’s that the NHL is in sore need of someone to help glam things up in a big way. Who better than Ron Paul’s half-brother RuPaul? If you thought Brendan Shanahan’s player safety videos were snazzy, just wait until you see what Ru’ has in store for the NHL. Let’s just say that the competition on the ice won’t be the only thing that gets fierce! With the throbbing house music and visually-arresting attire keeping fans streaming in through the gates, both sides of this once-tense standoff will go home happy and fab-u-lous!
Of course, there are other methods to discouraging a unionized workforce from striking. Like bringing in some Tuff Irishmen to come physically harass and intimidate your workforce… What’s Owen Nolan up to these days? Seeing a bunch of these ruffians standing in front of the picket line, menacingly swinging their shillelaghs around, might give some NHLers cause to think for a second about what’s more important: being allowed to have more input on realignment or having your knees and/or face work.
While Jesus Christ is busy helping Tim Tebow win Super Bowls and assisting innumerable recording artists in their quests to obtain a Grammy, his earthly fill-in Jimmy Carter might be just the guy for this job. Think about it: same initials, peace-makers, and once President Carter got Habitat for Humanity goin’, they even shared the carpentry thing. Fancy-pants historians and sundry people who lived through the 1970’s tend to think Carter was a failure. We here at TB&theHDz dissent, however, as we think Carter’s diplomatic skills and sexy-smooth lilting accent could be just what hockey needs. Don’t forget that Carter negotiated a nuclear weapons reduction treaty, won a Nobel Prize, andgot an Arab and an Israeli to hold hands for a second! And in this tense stand-off between players and owners, that kind of accord might be enuff to avoid another lockout. Plus he’s probably got Clinton on speed dial, which couldn’t hurt.
Seriously, though, guys, listen up:
No matter who’s sitting across from one another at the air-hockey table when negotiations get under way soon, we’re all just prayin’ like hell that they don’t fuck things up. So, NHL, you guys buy a bunch of pizzas and invite the players over. Players, you guys bring a couple six-packs and take off your shoes before you walk into their house. Be respectful. So you’re probably not gonna want to invite Kane and Oshie over… Point is: let’s keep this process classy, guys, and make it work.