The brass of the National Hockey League Players' Association is in the midst of a full 30-team fall tour, trying to take the pulse of its constituency on a variety of key issues.
Just out of curiosity, did you nod off during that lead? Thought so. I'm well aware that Players' Association news makes eyes glaze over faster than that design magazine your wife made you look through to pick out drapes. (That analogy comes from a very dark personal place.)
But trust me, this is important stuff. NHLPA executive director Paul Kelly and director of player affairs Glen Healy should be commended for trying to re-invigorate the PA, and empower the players. And hey, this is novel: they aren't even spying on emails to do it!
Every NHL player is being asked to fill out a confidential survey about several key issues. Once all teams have been polled, the results will ?go a long way in dictating the PA's? agenda.??
We have obtained the questions from the survey. Though intriguing, it seems to be missing some important follow-ups. So we conducted our own more detailed NHL player poll. Here are the questions and answers from both (since results of the NHLPA survey have not been tabulated yet, we offer instead our own unofficial estimations):
ACTUAL NHLPA QUESTION: WOULD YOU SUPPORT THE COMPETITION COMMITTEE INVESTIGATING A PENALTY FOR HEADSHOTS?
Yes: 75 %
No: 25 %
FOLLOW-UP: WOULD YOU SUPPORT A PENALTY FOR SHOTS TO SEAN AVERY'S HEAD?
No: 99.9 %
Yes: .1% (Avery)
ACTUAL NHLPA QUESTION: DO YOU WANT NHL PLAYERS TO PARTICIPATE IN THE OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES AFTER 2010?
FOLLOW-UP: DO YOU KNOW THE 2014 OLYMPICS ARE IN RUSSIA?
Oh Crap can I change my vote on the last question? 37%
ACTUAL NHLPA QUESTION: ARE YOU IN FAVOUR OF GRANDFATHERING-IN A MANDATORY VISOR RULE?
FOLLOW-UP: DO SOME OF YOU BELIEVE THE PREVIOUS QUESTION MEANT YOUR GRANDFATHER IS THE ONE WHO WOULD HAVE TO WEAR THE VISOR?
You wanna go right now pencil-neck smart-ass? 61%
ACTUAL NHLPA QUESTION: ARE YOU IN FAVOUR OF TERMINATING THE CURRENT COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT AFTER THIS SEASON?
FOLLOW-UP: WHAT ARE THE 10% OF YOU WHO SAID YES SMOKING!?! DO YOU REALLY WANT TO SPEND NEXT SEASON IN OMSK AGAIN?!?
(I didn't actually ask that. It was more of an editorial comment.)
Wow. Very revealing. Unfortunately, that's it. The NHLPA survey is only four questions long. (Hockey players have short attention spans. Any more than four questions would require a protein shake and a rubdown.) To get a more detailed look at players' attitudes and beliefs, we added some bonus questions.
WHICH IDEA DO YOU SUPPORT TO INCREASE SCORING IN THE NHL?
Bigger nets: 23%
Smaller goalie equipment: 26%
Drugging and kidnapping Roberto Luongo: 51%
WHO OR WHAT IS TO BLAME FOR THE CURRENT FINANCIAL WOES OF MANY NHL TEAMS?
Gary Bettman: 37%
The U.S economic crisis: 49%
Jason Spezza: 14% (Hey, he gets blamed for everything. Might as well call him out on this one too!)
WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST CONCERN ABOUT PLAYING IN NON-TRADITIONAL HOCKEY MARKETS?
Less revenues means lower salary cap: 19%
Endorsement opportunities reduced: 15%
Hot girls in Nashville bars have no idea who I am: 66%
WOULD YOU APPROVE OF A SHORTER 72-GAME SCHEDULE?
Can we still get paid for 82? 73%
HAVE YOU, AT ANY POINT IN YOUR NHL CAREER, DATED ELISHA CUTHBERT??
Yes: 52 percent
No: 7 percent
Expect to: 41 percent
From The Ottawa Citizen