Want to hear what NHL players are saying about the lockout? It's easy, dozens of daily comments are at your disposal on Twitter.
Want to hear what NHL owners are saying about the lockout? It's impossible. They face a threatened 1M fine for speaking publicly. As a Red Wings executive found out back in September... the price was 250,000 after referring to players as "cattle".
Let's get this straight...NHL owners, collectively, are the ones who wanted to "speak up" and cease league operations until a new collective bargaining agreement was reached. And now during the labor stoppage, those same owners are prohibited to individually "speak up" in relaying their own words through the media, to the customers.
Boggles your mind, doesn't it?
The league's tactic is very understandable: a unified front is perceived to be more powerful. With only Gary Bettman and Bill Daly speaking on behalf of 30 ownership groups, there should be zero conflicting comments.
However, this limited voice also works against individual team representatives.
Do you really think owners of the Sharks (worth 223M), Blues (130M), Maple Leafs (1B!), Islanders (155M), and Canadiens (575M) all have IDENTICAL opinions on the progressprocess of negotiations? Highly doubtful. Then why lump them all together under the IDENTICAL statements from the league?
Although "the owners" are classified as a group, it's actually a stereotype, because they are not even formally allowed to express or convey their own unique position on what is best under current circumstances. It's why often times you will hear players comment negatively about "the owners", but then clarify it does not pertain to "all of them".
Logic suggests not all 30 franchises want to be missing games right now, while conspiracy theorists suggest only a handful of powerful owners are what's keeping the NHL shut down. Until their veil of silence is lifted, how will we even know who "the owners" really are?