Lockout Breaker: Shane Doan?

Extremely interesting tidbit toward the end of this column from the NY Post’s Larry Brooks:

The Post has learned that Bettman’s ultimate willingness to listen on the final day of the lockout was the key to ending the stalemate.

Sources report it was a one-hour meeting last Saturday attended by only Bettman, NHL attorney Bob Batterman and the Coyotes’ universally respected Shane Doan that broke the logjam over the critical issue regarding the 2013-14 cap number.

Doan, who left money on the table as a free agent this summer to remain in Phoenix, explained that the league’s proposed $62.5M — increased at that point from the original $60M — would disrupt the lives of players and their families who would be forced to move because of trades and buyouts that would not otherwise take place under the union’s more forgiving $64.3M transition number.

The column is primarily about how cowardly and ridiculous Bettman sounded at his press conference yesterday, a press conference at which he took no questions.  And I agree with all of that.

However, if it’s really the case that the lockout was basically settled because of a short conversation between Bettman and Shane Doan about basically nothing, I’m not sure that I have anything intelligent to say about that.  I think I might even have less respect for Bettman than I did 5 minutes ago.  What kind of a megalomanical asshole has to have a player basically come and plead to him to listen, before he’s willing to budge on something so trivial that’s holding the entire process hostage.  Is this really what took so long?  I’ve been arguing for weeks that this is billionaires and millionaires arguing over the fringes, a rounding error to both parties.  If this was really the last big thing, then I was right all along.  If it’s truly that the last major stumbling block was $1.8 million and Doan had to sit down and walk Bettman through how unbelievably shortsighted and selfish it is to hold up the whole process over that number, then Bettman is truly a bigger jerk than I thought.


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