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Wednesday, March 02, 2005

nhl- Ron MaClean, NHL Wants to Bust Union

from, National Hockey League owners are attempting to destroy the players' association, CBC sports announcer Ron MacLean said Tuesday.
Speaking at a University of B.C. fundraising breakfast, MacLean said the 167-day lockout is "a union bust, plain and simple."
The popular host of Hockey Night In Canada said he believes the owners want to bring union leader Bob Goodenow to his knees and eliminate his powerful hold on the players and, hence, the game.
"I think what happened is when the league saw the players offer the 24-per-cent rollback, they got a sniff that they had things going their way and they were heartened by it," MacLean said. "Then when they got the cap, the blood was now gushing.
"I honestly believe there is a faction within ownership that has decided 'this is our chance to settle this once and for all' -- not in terms of the monetary concerns but the control concerns, that they could defeat Bob Goodenow."
It's a widely held belief that Goodenow and the NHLPA out-foxed the owners in the last collective bargaining agreement. According to MacLean, it's get-even time for NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and the hardline owners backing him.
"I think when the owners had the cap, the players had literally caved and it's incomprehensible to me that the league didn't do a deal," MacLean continued. "My only summation is that they have decided 'let's get Bob Goodenow and the union out of the picture, once and for all.'
"I really don't know what option the players have. My theory is that they should have taken the last NHL offer and waited for a better day when the courts might be more friendly or the [U.S.] Congress might be more friendly. So it will be very intriguing to see what the players think their options are."