On Mike Ilitch and Coming Lockout


“I hate the (salary) cap.” – Mike Ilitch; November 8, 2010.

September 13, 2012: NHL Board of Governors unanimously votes to lock out players.

“We have the best owner in sports. Nobody loves our owner more than this club.” – Danny Cleary; September 15, 2012.

On the eve of the NHL’s third lockout in seventeen seasons, I’m having a hard time reconciling that second point with the other two.

I get that there’s a huge amount of politics that the NHL owners play.  Sometimes you support something you don’t agree with to get others to back your own pet project.  That’s just how it works.

I just look back over the last several seasons and don’t see what could have been traded to the Wings in order to get Ilitch’s support for either the last lockout or this one.

Was there so much opposition to the plan to base draft position on playoff results that it took all of the Wings’ lockout-earned political capital to get it passed?  I find that hard to belive.

Is it that Ilitch isn’t really in control of the team and that someone else is pledging Detroit’s support for the lockout?  Possible, but then I don’t know how he could be the best owner in sports if he’s not ultimately calling the shots.

I don’t know what Ilitch’s actual thoughts on the matter are or what goes into the decisions the team’s management makes.  This could all make more sense in a given context, for all I know.

I’m just disappointed that the supposed best owner in sports, who hates the salary cap, appears to be in favor of yet another lockout.


Clark founded the site that would become DetroitHockey.Net in September of 1996. He continues to write for the site and executes the site's design and development, as well as that of DH.N's sibling site, FantasyHockeySim.com.

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