Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - The term "bottle episode" is used to
describe a half-hour or hour of scripted television that confines its setting
to one location.
For the most part, bottle episodes exist to save money as the fixed setting
allows for a smaller budget. However, the bottle episode also can serve as a
way for characters to work out existing issues and pull together toward a
One common bottle episode trope is locking characters in a room and not
letting them leave until they work out their problems with each other. It
sounds like a storyline the NHL's owners and players should embrace, but,
unfortunately, the two sides barely can bring themselves to share the same room
Since last week's brief window of optimism was slammed shut, neither side has
formally met to try to hammer out a new collective bargaining agreement.
The NHLPA wanted to meet with the owners on Thursday, but NHL deputy
commissioner Bill Daly shot that down, saying if they didn't like the league's
last proposal and didn't have a new one of their own, then he is "not sure what
we would be meeting about."
The fact that neither side seems ready to back off their recent proposals is
not good news for the prospects of a full 82-game season. In order to complete
the entire 2012-13 schedule, the league says it must start play by Nov. 2,
which is a little over a week from now.
It seems unlikely that would happen even if the two sides were sitting down
and talking, but the lack of formal meetings makes the situation bleaker.
The most frustrating aspect of the current state of the labor battle is that
no momentum is being made on the core economic issues, which are the only
problems that stand in the way of a new CBA agreement. Instead, the players
and owners are too busy bickering about sideshow issues to tackle the real
problems like defining hockey-related revenue or addressing whether or not
existing players contracts will be honored,
The sad truth is even though the original start date to the 2012-13 campaign
passed weeks ago, the NHL's labor negotiations have failed to gain traction in
any substantive way.
Perhaps if this were television, locking commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA
head Donald Fehr in a room until they agreed on a new CBA would solve all the
problems. Meanwhile, back here in the real world they won't even sit down at
the same table.
ISLANDERS MAKE BROOKLYN MOVE OFFICIAL
In a move that seemed inevitable in the long run, the New York Islanders
officially announced Wednesday the team will move to Brooklyn's Barclays Center
beginning in the 2015-16 season.
The timing of the announcement is the only thing surprising about this bit of
news. The Islanders' lease at the much-maligned Nassau Coliseum runs out after
the 2014-15 season and optimists hoped owner Charles Wang would make another
attempt at getting Long Islanders on board to build a new arena.
In the end, the obstacles Wang faced in getting a new home for the Islanders
built in Nassau County were too great and he instead opted to agree on a 25-
year lease with Bruce Ratner, the majority owner of the Barclays Center.
Wang fought for years to make the once-great franchise a bigger draw on Long
Island, but his crusade fell on deaf ears. The old building derisively known as
"The Mausoleum" became an albatross for the club and the deteriorating edifice
was home to smaller and smaller crowds.
The only team to draw smaller crowds than the Islanders last season was the
Phoenix Coyotes, a club so troubled that it's been owned and operated by the
NHL since the franchise declared bankruptcy in 2009.
Considering the Coliseum was keeping the Isles' stuck in a vicious circle, a
move anywhere other than Long Island makes sense. But that doesn't mean the
team will draw any better in Brooklyn. After all, it still remains to be seen
if the borough will support the NBA's Brooklyn Nets, who are making the move
to the Barclays Center this season.
Unlike the former New Jersey Nets, Wang says his team will keep the New York
moniker instead of its city name to Brooklyn. For Wang's sake, hopefully that
doesn't send the wrong message to the Brooklynites he is hoping to win over.
The Sports Network