One team owner who doesn’t risk getting fined by discussing the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement is the Dallas Mavericks’ Mark Cuban.
Last season Cuban actually voted against the NBA’s new CBA, which was signed after that league’s lockout lasted 149 days, and believes it’s crucial that hockey team owners draft a deal that will help the league survive.
“When you have all your southern franchises basically sucking wind, there’s a message there that you have to fix it. I mean, you have two different worlds; the north and the south. It’s kind of like the civil war right now going on, and it’s got to be fixed,” Cuban told CSNNE.com Wednesday. “I’d cringe more if they don’t fix it. Just like the last one, it’s only been like seven years, right? But I even wrote a blog back then that they should have fixed it, and they didn’t.
“And if a market like the (Dallas) Stars can’t survive with whatever they do, they should be embarrassed, because this is your chance to fix this.”
In his interview with CSNNE, Cuban admits to not knowing the particulars of the NHL’s labour war, now in its 89th day, but having played a key role in the NBA lockout, the businessman does offer some insight into how these lengthy tug-o-wars finally get settled.
“They’re both cluster(expletives). There’s no good way (to negotiate) because everybody thinks they have a solution in those scenarios and nobody wants to listen to the other guy’s solutions,” Cuban told CSNNE. “And it’s just when desperation sets in that something gets done. It’s not the best way to solve business problems, but that’s what ends up happening.”
In a separate interview with the Boston website, Mavericks guard Derek Fisher offered some advice to the locked-out NHL players.
“The quickest way to resolution and getting something done is to stay together,” said the veteran Fisher, president of the NBA players’ union. “You don’t get anything done by becoming individuals and starting to separate. It doesn’t mean it has to take longer. But the most efficient way… is to really stay together, try to make sure you have one voice and one general focus in terms of how you’re trying to get things accomplished as a group.”
One voice is a tall order when you consider the varying contracts, incomes, ages and opinions within the 700-plus NHLPA membership, many of whom have Twitter accounts.
“It’s tough. In sports now — not just the customers and the audience growing in terms of a global perspective, but your players have grown in terms of global perspective,” Fisher told CSNNE. “You’re trying to have one voice from around the world; particularly in hockey, like Russia and the European countries, that makes it even more challenging than for us in a lot of ways, in basketball.”