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

Nov 25, 2012, 8:35 PM EST

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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.

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