Before I begin this outrageous comparison I’d like to state for the record that in know way do I actually believe that Gary Bettman or Donald Fehr are close to the evil that was Adolph Hitler. Hitler was bad in so many ways, while I’m pretty sure Bettman and Fehr have some redeeming qualities somewhere under the surface. That being said, onto today’s post.
For a variety of reasons that I won’t go into here, Germany got hosed at the end of the first World War. It was slapped with numerous sanctions and penalties that had a direct result on their immediate future. Besides trying their emperor as a war criminal, Germany also had to give up some territory to France and pay about a zillion dollars in gold to the allied countries. In short, Germany was relegated to amateur nation status and crushed economically. (Again, I’m not saying this wasn’t deserved)
For the next 15-20 years Germany struggled. Like the rest of the world, an economic depression spread and many people suffered. When people suffer, they sometimes latch on to desperate measures. In Germany, the people listened to a nut like Hitler who promised their nation that Germany would not be denied again.
Long story short, Hitler galvanized Germany and started World War II. He was unwilling to compromise on any of this beliefs and many people died. Only when Germany was crushed by the Allies (and Hitler dead) did the war in Europe end.
Fast-forward to the National Hockey League in 2004. The league was struggling economically and the players were locked out by the owners. After a lengthy standoff, the players capitulated and agreed to the salary cap. Shortly thereafter the players dismissed their chief, Bob Goodnow.
A few years passed and the CBA was expiring soon. The players, who felt they got the shaft in 2004, decided to employ a negotiating shark to get them a better deal. Donald Fehr was hired and told everyone that the players were behind him 100 percent. Unfortunately for them, Fehr doesn’t compromise much and neither does Bettman. The lockout started and shows no signs of ending anytime soon.
The 2004 CBA Agreement led to Donald Fehr, much like the Treaty of Versailles led to Hitler. I can’t wait until I get to write about hockey again.