Skip to content

Leigh Steinberg slams lockout, NHL’s “disappearing act”

Nov 25, 2012, 8:35 PM EDT

leighsteinberggetty Getty Images

Leigh Steinberg – aka the agent who inspired “Jerry Maguire” – believes that the CBA negotiations should be more about “help me, help you” and less about “show me the money.”

His column for Forbes begins by mocking the league for squandering fantastic momentum from last season.

The National Hockey League and their players have performed a magic trick that would leave David Copperfield speechless. They have taken a profitable and exciting 2011-2012 season that brought them increased attendance, television ratings and exposure, topped by a captivating battle between teams in the nation’s two largest media markets and managed to disappear the following season into thin air. As NFL playoff races heat up, the battle for BCS supremacy and bowl game positioning in college football is at its peak. The NBA season has started to take shape, and we move towards Holiday Season–does anyone really care?

Harsh, but maybe true.

Ultimately, the experienced negotiator believes that the two sides should keep the bigger picture in mind rather than trying to be the victor in a confrontational situation.

… One of the important concepts was not to get so caught in the detail as to forget the ultimate goal of the negotiation—in this case maximizing NHL player and owner economics. What was needed here was a deadline, a willingness to commit to solution before the very length of the discussions led to economic self-destructiveness. PT Barnum’s maxim “The Show Must Go On” is relevant here.

Click here for more from the once-prominent sports agent.

Also, feel free to wedge a few more “Jerry Maguire” references into the comments if you’re bored.

  1. jimw81 - Nov 25, 2012 at 8:45 PM

    he was talking about what Gary, Bill and Jacobs decided to do.

  2. tortowl - Nov 25, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    He is right, it’s fade away time for the NHL – too many other sports peaking right now, they dont even make the 1st half hour of SportsCenter, no one seems to care.

    • antkowiak666 - Nov 26, 2012 at 9:14 AM

      NBC Sports owns the broadcasting rights to the NHL and they don’t even talk about the lockout in any length or NBC Sports Talk and you’ll see a 10 sec update if does the NHL not see that they are not really relevant and that this is KILLLING the sport!

  3. vanchuk - Nov 25, 2012 at 11:10 PM

    Did you know that the human he’s weighs 9 lbs…

    That is all

  4. vanchuk - Nov 25, 2012 at 11:11 PM

    F**kin auto correct…the human HEAD weighs 9 lbs

  5. HawaiiHockey - Nov 25, 2012 at 11:12 PM

    Agreed. Lame.

  6. vanchuk - Nov 25, 2012 at 11:13 PM

    Human HEAD weighs 9 lbs…stupid auto correct

    • jaybertx - Nov 26, 2012 at 12:07 AM

      All of that autocorrect correcting just to be wrong anyway. The human head weighs 8 lbs. :-)

  7. sunderlanding - Nov 25, 2012 at 11:22 PM

    He had me at: “The National Hockey League”.

  8. vanchuk - Nov 26, 2012 at 12:13 AM

    Sorry…haven’t seen Jerry McGuire since Jonathan Lipnicki was only addicted to children’s aspirin

  9. csilojohnson - Nov 26, 2012 at 6:51 AM


  10. michiganhockey11 - Nov 26, 2012 at 10:18 AM

    As a fan of the game, it pains me to say I am over this crap. And don’t care at this point if they play this year. It is pretty sad to me. I guess that means more AHL and OHL games at good prices, right?

  11. matt8204 - Nov 26, 2012 at 2:21 PM

    The truth hurts. The league simply can’t get out of its own way. Every fan I’ve talked to has lost interest, even diehards. It’s a tired act. But he’s wrong about the 2012 Final being a matchup between the nation’s two top media markets. New Jersey is not New York. Never will be.

  12. dhillca - Nov 26, 2012 at 7:15 PM

    What’s hockey?

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Kessel (1954)
  2. P. Kane (1492)
  3. P. Datsyuk (1373)
  4. M. Richards (1239)
  5. M. Giordano (1207)