Current CBA Uncertainty a Form of Vindication for Bob Goodenow?

Bob Goodenow…remember him?

He was the NHLPA Director during the last lockout in 2004-05, whose steadfast position against a salary cap in the NHL was eventually broken from within when his union caved around him and accepted the NHL’s deal to bring hockey back for the 2005-06 season.

Now that the NHL is heading for another potential lockout, does it accentuate the fact the former union boss knew what he was talking about seven years ago when he staunchly opposed implementing a salary cap? Perhaps, but Goodenow won’t say he told you so, even though he may think it from time to time.

Adrian Dater of has a piece on Goodenow, going back in time and discussing the actions that lead to the lockout ending.

No word aside from “rout” need apply to describe the last NHL collective bargaining talks, the ones between Goodenow and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. After vowing that his players would never accept a salary cap and warning them the lockout that started in 2004 could last as long as 18 to 24 months, his union’s resolve crumbled and a cap-based system that included severe salary rollbacks was implemented.

Goodenow, whose tenure saw the average NHL salary rise from about $276,000 to $1.8 million by 2003-04, told his players to be steadfast against a cap because once a cap is in place, team owners will forever try to make it lower.

Goodenow must have channeled Nostradamus in 2005: his predictions have come true.

  • It would be nice to get some perspective from Goodenow, however according to Dater, he’s too busy fishing in Michigan. Good life. 
  • Goodenow knew what he was talking about, and the only reason we have a salary cap today is his people around him caved in. Although, losing almost 2 years to a work stoppage quite possibly could’ve killed the NHL for good. In a way, it’s a good thing it never went that long.
  • Talks resume today between Bettman & Fehr. Here’s hoping to significant progress being made today. 

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About James Wrabel, Jr.