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 BOSTON (March 3, 2007) - Capt. Todd A. Zecchin, commanding officer of USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67), drops the ceremonial puck at the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadians game at the TD Bank North Garden. Kennedy and her crew are in Boston for a five-day p
Wealthy National Hockey League team owners face a marketing challenge: They've locked out the NHL's players, forcing the cancellation of the beginning of the season (and counting) in a blatant cash grab. They're depriving fans of the game for reasons that are hard to defend. So how are they trying to defend the lockout? They've hired Republican marketing guru Frank Luntz to run a focus group to identify the best ways for the owners, who are responsible for the lockout, to pin it on the players.

That's right, thanks to the "death tax" guy, hockey fans are going to be subjected to the messaging Republican governors have deployed against public workers like teachers and fire fighters over the past few years. Deadspin has the details:

One participant gleaned from the content of these speeches the phrases and concepts the NHL might use going forward. The league is eager to portray individual players as not in step with the union, claiming that the majority of them don't believe or don't buy into the rhetoric used by Donald Fehr and NHLPA leaders, and that they just want to play hockey. "The players are not the enemy," the NHL may very well tell you. "The union is the problem."

As for the owners' slogan, one laughable phrase kept coming up: "Shared sacrifice."

"Maybe we asked for too much at first," Luntz's mock-NHL-exec speech went, "but we're willing to give. The NHLPA has to be willing to give as well, if we're going to give the fans back their hockey. There's no way we're going to do this without both sides bringing something to the table."

It's like how Mitt Romney says he loves teachers, he just hates their unions. And it's shared sacrifice as in, the owners asked for two arms and two legs, so if the players give up an arm and a leg, the owners have sacrificed half what they wanted.

In reality, hockey players are the NHL Players Association, and the owners are looking for ways to mask their own greed.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 02:50 PM PDT.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions.

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