Audio exclusive: Habs’ Gionta, Cole, Gorges on talks breakdown

Canadiens forward Erik Cole (left) speaks with defenceman Josh Gorges during a game last March in Vancouver.
Rich Lam/Getty Images Sport

The Gazette and Hockey Inside/Out’s Dave Stubbs spoke with Canadiens forward Erik Cole, captain Brian Gionta and defenceman Josh Gorges shortly after Thursday’s breakdown in NHL/NHLPA collective bargaining agreement talks in New York. Here is a good portion of the audio of their conversation, done by phone with the three veteran players travelling by car.

You’re best to listen to the edited audio clips in sequence as they’re posted below; in this way, their comments are true to the flow of the conversation (forgive the sometimes shaky quality, they were speaking by Bluetooth).

Gorges is the Canadiens representative on the NHLPA, Cole is the alternate rep.

1. Erik Cole on owners’ anger about apparent lack of player gratitude for $100 million bump on “make whole”
2. Cole asked whether he thought there was reason for optimism after Wednesday’s upbeat mood
3. Cole asked whether he thinks the season is dead
4. Josh Gorges asked whether he was surprised by the breakdown in talks
5. Gorges asked whether he saw the spectacle unfold on TV
6. Gorges asked whether at some point he takes the lockout personally
7. Cole adding to Gorges’s comments on taking it personally, related to Habs owner Geoff Molson
8. Brian Gionta on the mood we might see when/if talks resume
9. Gionta, Gorges on whether we’ll see hockey this season
10. Gorges on how a player’s relationship changes with his owner after lockout
11. Cole on whether decertification is the next step, or where the union goes from here

Below: Canadiens captain Brian Gionta last November, in action in Anahheim.
Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images


  1. Fake says:

    Where is “Anahheim”? (check above gio’s photo)

  2. punkster says:

    Wait…wait…this just in…the NHL lock out has now officially lasted longer than Kim Kardashian’s marriage.

    ***Subbang Baby!!!***

  3. thepiraterobert says:

    some of the LeafsNation people I know are very disturbed- it seems that waking up to see
    this shot of deranged goalie predator Gionta looking for a victim in blue and white is too much to handle for many of them…my understanding is that any computer owned by a Leafs fan is at the end of their laneway now – for fear the image should ever be seen in their homes again..and won’t somebody think about the children? and did anyone else think they would be so pumped about the upcoming WJC?
    c’est le but!
    Bob in Ottawa

  4. Cal says:

    Bellyful comes through again! Apologies if this has been posted earlier.

  5. mrhabby says:

    Its interesting that all the participants from the players side are all from Canada/USA….I have not seen 1 European player over here.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      THey are all busy trying to find apartments for the rest of their union brothers over in Europe. This is one completely bonded brotherhood. It isn’t like they are continuing to live a normal pro hockey life back in their home countries. They are making huge sacrifices as we speak for all the 3rd and 4th line NHL’ers to ensure that work will be found for them in Europe. 😉

    • hansolo says:

      In the photo of Fehr and some players in the previous thread, isn’t that Zdeno Chara in the back row? Or have I mistaken someone else for him — in which case, double shame on me…

    • B says:

      Also interesting that not one of the players participating is a restricted free agent or will be one after their current contract.

      –Go Habs Go!–

  6. Dr.Rex says:

    This whole NHL lockout is a prefect example of Corporatism at its best, or worst depending on how you see things. TO have the fate of a sport beloved by so many of a particular country and demographic and have it dwindled before us by a few people who have no interest or connection to its roots is the true form of business today. This whole lockout with its useless rhetoric and jargon to its tyrannical nature would make a few elite individuals very proud. We the fans are truly the cattle and our decisions and leaders through other means have allowed this infrastructure to exist. This lockout shines a light on the bigger picture of what has gone terribly wrong all around us.

    • nunacanadien says:

      Well the owners want specifics to pay off for their profits, then to actually pay off the debt they may have owned, bought/inherited, whereas the players want to stay locked out based on a concept.

      Ok boys, the owners want to pay off their debts and make a profit but Donald Fehr wants to win based on being right or wrong.

      You call it. Maybe it’s time the players dumped Donald Fehr?

  7. Timo says:

    Can some one explain to the simple uneducated me what will happen if players union de-certifies? What are advantages/disadvantages to both NHL and players?

    • Gerry H says:

      My understanding is that without a certified union, the NHL becomes subject to the full force of competition law. What it boils down to is that, normally, competitors in a given industry can’t collude to force terms on the labour marketplace. For example, if a bunch of clothing manufacturers got together and agreed that they would not pay their labourers more than minimum wage, even if the employment market would naturally drive wages up, they’d normally be subject to an anti-competitive practices lawsuit. The only way they are allowed to do that is if there is a certified union representing the workers.

      If the union were decertified it would mean the end of CBAs. Every man for himself. Players at the bottom end of the food chain would end up with less. Stuff like player pensions and so forth would disappear. It would not be great for the majority of players. But the unrestricted bargaining power of the guys at the top end of the food chain would drive those salaries through the stratosphere, enough so that overall player costs would likely increase faster than they could under a CBA. For these reasons, it’s generally supposed that owners would avoid de-certification like the plague.

      • nunacanadien says:

        Not only that, you would have no guarantee that the crop of players you currently have could not be bought off lock stock and barrell, or they would also be open to negotiate a contract mid game with the other team and literally switch teams mid game even. Imagine the riff raff and the competition that would occur as Canadian teams would again buy nothing but the best. Decertify, it can only make hockey strong in Canada again, and force the NHLPA to reconsider it’s position of winning over a CBA or some other stupid concept that they want to win over.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      They gamble that they can out-lawyer the NHL in court as every aspect of the way the the NHL and its union worked with each other is out the window!

      • nunacanadien says:

        Did you hear that Martin St. Louis? And Sidney Crosby? Keep up this crap and lead your players so that you end up decertifying and both of you end up in Montreal bought out cause you rich little bastards wanted to pad your retirement fund on top of the greedy retirement fund you already have. Go ahead you rich overpaid hockey players you who are in the sunbelt, keep it up, you’ll only end up being bought out by the richer Canadian teams and you’ll end up paying Canadian taxes you greedy NHLplayers who are reading this. Sign the stupid agreement already and tell that Donald Fehr to f*ck Off already!

    • habsguru says:

      i’ve heard as well, that the NHL cannot lock out individuals, only unions. so if the players de-certify, the players can file individual grievences, and may be eligible to draw their salaries.

      • Cal says:

        That’s true. It’s also true that the process will take months if not years, wiping out over half the players in the league right now.

        • nunacanadien says:

          On the flip side, the Martin St. Louis and the Sidney Crosby’s would have no choice but to be bought out by the richer Canadian teams and the sunbelt would become a real desert as they would only be able to afford to buy the Scott Gomez’s, the Andrei Markov’s the Max Pacioretty’s and the Coles of the world, and Montreal would get its true superstars back again.

    • Riga Fraction says:

      In a nutshell, most of the NHL (and other pro sports) labour practices are illegal, but are allowed to go on because of the CBA agreement between the unionized players and the NHL itself. Without it, the draft is illegal as companies cannot draft to own sole rights to employees. The notion of owned players rights, restricted free agents etc are all illegal also. A player would either be under contract or free to ply his trade for whatever employer wanted to hire him to a contract. I am not 100% sure even players under contract wouldn’t have a case toward breaking the contract (at a penalty) in order to go work elsewhere as well. I don’t see why they couldn’t unless specifically written into their contract. Trading players rights would also come into play here as there are no rights to players and thus trading those rights or trading contracts wouldn’t work. Forget the salary cap as that would be completely illegal and forget contract term lengths and moving players to minor leagues as that would also be illegal.

      Finally, you can’t lock out players if they aren’t unionized so they are all under contract for this year and would have to be paid for this year whether the employer holds games or not.

      Now on the flip side, the players wouldn’t have a solidarity toward fighting for one another’s rights and each instance would have to be fought individually, and I don’t know what would happen with pensions as I am under the impression that they’ve been included in the CBA. It’d be a rather large disaster area for both sides if such a move were to happen basically.

  8. habsfan0 says:

    Nurse who took Kate Middleton prank call has commited suicide.

    Puts this lockout into proper perspective.

  9. nunacanadien says:

    Donald Fehr was a bad choice.

    Donald Fehr does not know the reality of hockey, especially the nature of corporate hockey hell that is Montreal.

    These board members want to make a profit, they want a horrible profit but they also have to invest in volatile markets where a player can literally destroy the team like Scott Gomez for example, hampering the team with a horrible contract, horrible play that costs advertising dollars.

    In this market you need to be realistic. But it is too bad that the players dinked around under Fehr and that they invited stupid little Sidney to the table with his prima donna attitude, what does he care, he’s got his retirement millions in the bank already.

    The NHLPA needs to elect only hard working, low paid players to ensure that no anti-trust activity goes on which sabotages or jeopardizes the league.

    Too bad, the players got what they wanted from the owners and little Sid the Kid came to the table and demanded a bigger pension for himself on top of the millions he already has!

  10. Timo says:

    At least some of you are learning russian.

  11. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Only way to settle this mess is to ditch Bettman. 3rd lockout under his (lack of) leadership. Ship him back to the NBA. He single-handedly ruined the best sport on earth and most fans are turned off because of him. Don’t have much use for Donald Fehr either.

    • nunacanadien says:

      I disagree, Bettman showed his true colors last night. Bettman showed he is about making teams better and he has in his own way.

      But honestly, what do players see in Donald Fehr?

  12. Luke says:

    Brandon Prust : @BrandonPrust8: “I’m done caring.. We keep moving and giving.. This 1 way street sucks.”

  13. HabinBurlington says:

    Okay, so the real pertinent question is, how much more delaying needs to be done before it can be confirmed that our best junior players can be committed to Team Canada and won’t have to go to NHL Training Camps?

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I don’t think much more. We are Dec 7th and I don’t see NHL camps happening this Dec

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • Cal says:

      All the contenders’ teams will be loaded. No deal before at least two weeks, which is World’s End anyway. Man, that junior tourney will be just dead if that happens! 😉

    • frontenac1 says:

      Good question Burly! The WJC starts in 19days and you have to figure they need some days to travel and get used to the Time Zone shift, so we are getting pretty close to the point of no return.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Gerald – I figure that the team stands to lose Huberdeau, Nugent-Hopkins and Scheifele.

      I can also easily see the Bruins and Islanders foolishly fast-tracking Hamilton and Strome.

      That’s your top unit and PP right out the window.

  14. Mikey_39 says:

    NHL fans should unite and start a giant petition together, saying that even when the lockout ends (whenever that may be), fans will no longer attend any games or purchase any NHL products.

    It’s clear who the real losers are in this war between millionaires and billionaires: the fans. Both sides don’t feel any pressure to get a deal done because they know that when they do, the fans will return as well. Obviously it would be easier said than done, because we so desperately love our team and our game, but that’s the whole point. It is OUR team and OUR game. Yet we sit back and let these greedy people destroy what we love so much.

    The fans need to send a message, because things won’t change unless we force them to change. Maybe the NHL starts again soon, but for how long? How long till the next lockout? It’s time the NHL stopped taking their loyal fans for granted.

    • wjc says:

      Okay, I got the giant petition. I signed it.

      I said “we (fans) are not going to attend games or buy merchandise.

      I feel like a real “loser” doing this, by the way.

      Easier said then done, you got that right, this petition weights about 20 pounds.

      I am standing in front of Eatons center and yelling for people to sign my petition…a lot of funny looks, people pointing, laughing, spitting at me….oh wait I got a signature from a guy wearing a Leaf jersey. That is not longer allowed.

      How long before the next lock out, how long since the last lock out. Will this lockout end. Is this the lockout to end all lockouts. Is it time for the NHL to stop taking us silly loyal fans for granted?

      Suppose……got 5 names, this is starting to happen!


  15. shiram says:

    I like to think I’m neutral concerning the NHL and NHLPA, both sides have acted badly to try to get what they want, and both sides have some responsibility for the current lockout, I’m not going to split ends to find which party is the worst, that’s not important to me in the least. Neither side gets my support.

    I dislike how alot of players made themselves sound like spoiled angry teens, and even the more politically correct one’s just sound like they are spewing catch phrases or made up lines, the party rethoric if you want…
    Sure the NHL is guilty of that as well, I guess the fight for my loyalty is turning me off both sides. Putting a gag on the owners might was a great move I think, even if they probably could have given some very interesting informations.
    Even the talks of it on here, people are just as intense as when the Halak/Price wars were going on, but at least those conversations centered on hockey.
    I don’t care about the business side of the NHL, it’s not interesting to me in the least, so I’m just hoping to get to fix this ASAP, because I’ll go back to watching the games, that’s what I love.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I agree that they both can go sit and spin Shiram. They are both in the wrong and the fact a deal isn’t done there is a deal to be made is a joke. The posturing is just making the fans and the media more angry.

      Lebrun said it well last night saying this negotiation is embarrassing to to anyone watching. It is quite obvious to me that there needs to be change at the helms. Bettman has to go. It is really obvious that there is a lack of trust between these two parties and that doesn’t make for good business partners.

      I am not a fan of Fehr either but the issues that they are fighting over started long before he became involved.

      Time for change at the top

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • 24 Cups says:

      shiram – None of us are privy to the real points of the offers. That includes everyone on this website.

      However, based on what has been bandied about, there doesn’t seem to be any major stumbling block (on either side) that couldn’t be negotiated as part of what Bettman refers to as “the total package”. It happens all the time. The only exception being when a corporation wants to shutdown or relocate an industry.

      Hard not to believe that this is really starting to evolve into a tug of war.

      Personally, I’m in favour of a ten year deal if for no other reason that it would guarantee new leadership on both sides when it came to a new CBA 8-10 years from now.

  16. Ozmodiar says:

    Comments about a new Euro/N.A. league being a viable alternative for players, when they’re very close to coming to terms on a deal that would split $3B, reminds me of this clip:

  17. Phil C says:

    Can anyone explain where the players’ $590M make whole comes from? It seems to be an emotional hot-button for the players, yet it seems like a completely bogus number to me. Meanwhile the lack of positive response from the players when adding $100M to the make whole has become a hot-button issue for the owners. It seems we could all benefit from figuring out exactly what make whole should be.

    Fehr said early in the process that the players are willing to go to 50/50 as long as current contracts are honoured. If he was being honest, the trick is to figure out how to account for current contracts. I am no accounting expert, but I think the players will get every dime owed to them as long as the player’s share never drops below their current share of $1.883B. This is the premise of my math below. So figuring out make whole means the difference between $1.883B (current share at 57%) and whatever a 50% share is worth until the point where the 50% share is greater than $1.883B.

    5% growth with player’s share at 50%

    Make whole = (1.883-1.651) + (1.883-1.734) + (1.883-1.821)
    Make whole = (.232) + (.149) + (.062)
    Make whole = .443 or $443M

    at 7% growth with player’s share at 50%
    Make whole = (1.883-1.651) + (1.883-1.855) = $259M

    If revenues grow even faster, make whole could as little as $232M, especially given that every time a contract expires, it will be easier to fit existing contracts within the 50% share, which effectively guarantees existing contracts.

    This $590M number seems bogus to me. I think one of the sports news reporters should bring in an accounting expert to independently calculate make whole to shed light on the issue. If the players are being misled, they may not recognize a good deal when they see it. Eric Cole might be more receptive to the current offer if he stopped comparing it to $590M.

    • Cal says:

      The whole premise has been thrown out the window. The NHL- with say a 50 game schedule, will come nowhere near close to 50% of the $3.3 bill. If fans in the US are turned off, too, their 23 teams won’t be generating the measly 60% of revenue they do now.
      The PA and the NHL can pretend that hockey is still a “hot” commodity in the US. Most places neither know nor care.
      Personally, as a reward for both sides’ stupidity in this, I hope revenues crap out like Black Friday in 1929. If the pie shrinks, maybe both sides will realize that it’s all about us, the fans. We pay the freight for everything. If they continue to behave as they do, fewer and fewer Canadians will care.
      In my office of 30 people, only 3 actually follow the Habs, and we are all over 50. None of the younger employees could give a s–t.

      • Phil C says:

        I don’t think the premise is gone. The owners have pulled their conditional offer because the conditions were not met. I’m sure it could quickly be put back on the table if the players meet the conditions of the offer.

        I think we all want to believe that the NHL is damaging it’s brand, but the recent NBA lockout did not have a measurable negative impact, nor did the last lockout.

        I do agree with you that hockey may be slipping in popularity in Canada. I know many parents who refuse to put their kids in hockey because of the risk of concussions. I have read in several places that enrollment in minor hockey is declining in Canada, (although I don’t have a link right now). I am a rabid hockey fan, but if I had a son, he would not be playing contact hockey with how the rules are currently interpreted. Soccer is also growing very quickly in Canada, becoming a year-round sport which will poach many top athletes away from hockey. The league will pay for this in the future if they let the game slip at the grassroots level. Both the players and the owners are playing their violins while Rome burns (albeit very slowly for now).

      • nunacanadien says:

        Fehr misled them from the beginning. Fehr is living in his baseball cap myth/haze and leading the NHPA down the wrong street.

        Bettman and Daly called it like it was. They are still trying to rescue the dismal teams like Phoenix.

        There is a reason why there is a package. There is a reason why the package has many areas where the owners who have to fund arenas and new upgrades based on the last contract.

        It is too bad Fehr and some few players insist on winning on a concept as opposed to just doing business for the sake of business.

    • B says:

      Bob McKenzie tweeted a little while back what he figures the players version of make whole translates to in terms of actual revenue split going forward:

      “A shade over 55 per cent in Year 1, a shade under 54 per cent in Year 2, 52 per cent in Year 3, and 50. 3 per cent in Year 4. ”

      Under their offer, the 50/50 split would not be reached until year 5. At the time, the players were offering a 5 year term, apparently they have now bumped it up to a 6 year term (or as they call it, an 8 year term with an opt out in year 6).

      –Go Habs Go!–

  18. HabinBurlington says:

    The lost Gary Bettman hockey card. How quick we forget what a hockey player he was.

    • Ozmodiar says:

      Wait!! He was an all-star?!

    • frontenac1 says:

      Oops! I made a comment awhile ago that Bettman never strapped on a pair of blades in his life. I guess I was …..Hey wait a minute! I don’t see the Skates !

    • wjc says:

      How quickly we forget what a great negotiator Sidney Crosby was. Lost on the honor rolls at Princeton.

      Crosby teaching negotiating 101.


      • frontenac1 says:

        I thought that was Bettmans idea to have just the players and ownerrs negotiate?That worked out well eh?
        At least Sid didn’t challenge Gary to a little one on one on the ice.,although I would have paid to see that.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        …..right it is all Crosby’s fault LOL

        Fehr is a pro and he isn’t doing any better. Neither is Bettman. They made progress with the players and other owners involved.

        They lost it when Butthead and Fehr came back

        But hey its Crosby’s fault

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

        • B says:

          It was the players who insisted that Fehr return to the discussions. That didn’t seem to help things along very much, instead it seemed to reverse the tide. Many players have commented that they believe the owners have a secret time schedule for these negotiations that they are following, but it seems to me that Fehr and the players are as much or even more responsible for continuing to drag this nonsense out so long.

          –Go Habs Go!–

  19. habsfan0 says:

    Jeff Blair of The Fan 590 insists an agreement is just days away.

  20. Ian Cobb says:

    To grow this game means in the USA, palm tree country only, for the bucks, not for the game itself!.

    We have now lost control of most our game to the states, but the game employes 75% Canadians. Our last chance to keep any form of our Canadian game here, depends on this negotiations. Who will ultimately control and change the game for the next 10 years.?

    Stand up for our game!!
    That means Canadian players, owners and league employees. Do not let the American business philosophy rape and steal any more of our national sport please. Fight and bring our game back home!!!!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Ian I respect and admire your passion for the game of hockey. We don’t own it though, we just enjoy it and in many families, live for it. Canada will always be one of the biggest exporters of hockey players. Hopefully as this continues other people in other countries develop the same passion. When a person falls in love with hockey they fall in love with the speed, the beauty of it along with the element of danger as it is physical.

      I am not sure how the current CBA negotiation is about keeping it in Canada, as perhaps the teams in most need of a clawback are US based, but this is cyclical as we saw years ago when many Canadian clubs struggled.

      Hopefully this business crap can be solved and then they can concentrate on making the game safer, proper enforcement of rules etc…

      Have a great day Ian!

    • RetroMikey says:

      Boy Ian, you are racist towards Americans aren’t you?
      Be careful, Brian Gionta might voice his opinion on this site.

      “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

    • frontenac1 says:

      Agreed 100% Ian. And their are Tens of Thousands of kids and parents across this great country who would.back you up on that amigo.

    • wjc says:

      Not sure exactly what you want. I never had control of Canadian hockey, so how do I get it back.

      Stand up for the game? How is American business philosophy different then Canadian business philosophy?

      So many questions? Fight, what, who, where, come again?

      My head hurts, grow the game for the game not the bucks? But the bucks are what makes it grow……..stop, please I can’t take anymore.


  21. mdp2011 says:

    Re: Commandant

    Regarding non-guaratneed contracts, I am not talking about injured players, they should have their contracts honered. But as a fan, I see nothing wrong with walking away from signed contracts for players who do not perform, Gomez, Kaberle, Di Pietro, Yashin, etc….Also, for that young kid that gets cut out of training camp, I sure hope he was well advised to get an education to fall back on.

  22. Mattyleg says:

    I have a hard time feeling sympathetic for players and ‘job security.’
    They chose a dangerous way to make a living; it’s a high-risk-high-reward job, like many others out there, only significantly better-paid.

    I might earn a million dollars in my lifetime.
    They can earn that in a year.

    And for people who are saying ‘the average salary is $750k’ or somesuch thing… that’s just great. These players can get jobs when they’re done playing. They don’t dry up and blow away, they can get jobs either related to hockey (see Jacques Lemaire et al), hockey media (see Aaron Ward et al), or not at all associated (see Dickey Moore et al).

    Go play hockey, hockey players.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  23. HabinBurlington says:

    Just looked at the Toronto Raptors current roster with contracts. Yikes that new deal the NBA players signed is killing the players on the end of the bench.

    I am trying to figure out Quincy Acy (You all remember him….) is surviving on $665,000 this season and next year has to accept a raise to $788,872. Heard Kypreos yesterday yelling, kicking and screaming how the new deal in the NBA is terrible for the lower skilled players.

  24. Mattyleg says:

    It’s the way he closes his eyes and waggles his head back and forth whilst keeping his nose in the air like a dog in a swamp that makes me really fall for Gary Bettman.

    Shine on, you crazy diamond.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  25. Hobie Hansen says:

    I can’t come close to understanding all the ins and outs of this entire negotiation but to me it seems that Bettman and the NHL made a real attempt to get things going these past few days.

    Yes Bettman is a master in front of the camera and can spin things to his liking during a press conference but he and Daily didn’t even pause for a split second when answering any questions last night. They were speaking the truth of exactly where things stood and they fair deal they offered.

    Fehr was up there pausing and conjuring up lies and avoiding questions. The NHLPA were back to their old trick of trying to drag this out and use time and public pressure as a bargaining chip.

    The NHL would have maybe bent a tiny bit more on an already fair deal if the NHLPA didn’t stand up there and make a mockery of everything and lie to the media to try and swing public support their way.

    The players are more wealthier than 98% of the world can even comprehend. They are the ones being overly greedy ring now. The owners are the guys who put up all the money to have a team and it is it that unreasonable that they are guaranteed to make some money off the venture? Sure there are some very rich owners but just because they’re rich doesn’t mean they should stand by and get ripped off.

    The NHL is giving teams time to get under the cap and eventually split things 50/50. a 50/50 split seems pretty fair to me? They want five year maximum contracts. Is that so bad? The only reason the players want longer contracts is to circumvent the cap and have those ridiculous, front loaded contracts where the player gets a whole pile of money up front and then retires by the time the deal hits the final few years.

    Anyway, I point the dirty end of the stick towards the NHLPA at this point for sure.

    • commandant says:

      The NHLPA offered that if the player retires, the cap hit remains on the books. The idea that these contracts circumvent the cap is gone. You can no longer do it under the PA’s latest offer.

      That is why the 5 year deals make no sense. The Cap Circumvention effect has already been defeated.

      Go Habs Go!
      Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        Bottom line, Is a five year contract where you are making millions upon millions of dollars such a hard thing to swallow and cancel a hockey season over?

        Do you really need to push it higher? Come on…

        How do you tell your fans that making $8 million dollars a year for 5 years isn’t good enough?

        • Chris says:

          I don’t get why the players are so attached to this issue (other than the job security aspect), but I **REALLY** don’t understand why this is a must have for the owners. They already have cap circumvention done away with. What is this really about?

          • HabinBurlington says:

            I think Chris, owners know that between themselves and their GM’s they will continue to make stupid contract decisions in an effort to produce a winning product. Does this mean they can’t help themselves? Yes, they really can’t, it sounds ridiculous, but I think these owners and GM’s get so caught up in trying to win that yes indeed they need rules in place to stop themselves. They just can’t admit it out loud.

        • commandant says:

          Contract length means far more to the players than owners.

          The owners can get the longer contract insured against injury.

          The players can lose their career in an instant; and once that happens, they won’t get a new contract.

          Job Security is absolutely an important factor here. And there is a deal on the table already that makes sense financially for both sides. The owners here are just finding a reason to disagree after the players agreed to the financials.

          Go Habs Go!
          Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

      • Kooch7800 says:

        The worst part is this term agreement is an argument cause the GM’s and owners look for ways to circumvent the CBA. Should they not be the ones trying to stick to it?

        This is away to handcuff GM’s and owners from themselves

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • Ozmodiar says:

        There’s a higher risk associated with long term contracts. There might be some owners that aren’t willing to sign long term deals while others are, creating a competitive imbalance.

        Also, the shorter the terms, the higher the turnover rate of contracts, keeping them more inline with the economic climate of the league.

        It could also have something to do with a higher cost of insuring these contracts.

        If it’s “the hill they’ll die on” then I’m sure it makes sense to them, even though it doesn’t make sense to you.

  26. HabinBurlington says:

    So everyone here does realize that the old CBA has expired correct? This is the negotiation of a new CBA. If new CBA’s need to include everything from old ones, perhaps we should go back to circa 1960?

    Obviously the owners have greed, guess what, so do the players.

    End of day they can agree to a CBA with the NHL owners or they can ply their trade in another hockey league. Just as each of us has a choice in where we go to work to earn our money.

  27. Mondou6 says:

    So the owners are “angry” that the players didn’t appreciate the fact that the owners offered to pay a bit more of the money the owners owe the players according to the contracts that the owners signed?

    I’m just amazed that these sleazeball owners, like Jacobs, signed contracts the day before the lockout, and now are “angry” that the players want the contracts honored. It’s mind boggling.

    Siding with ownership in this lockout is akin to patting Jeremy Jacobs on the back and saying, “Good job, I agree with you 100%. How dare those players expect the money you promised them.”

  28. habstrinifan says:

    No lockout for me so gotta hit the road. But before I go cant help but comment on the nostalgic discuusion among Ed Lopaz, 24cups and HabinBurlingon re the great years of the HABS and the superstars from Beliveau, Lafleur, down to Patrick Roy.

    Patrick Roy was both a blessing and a curse to the HABS. It was nothing he did! But because he became the ‘focus’ of our greatness and, when he left, the ‘focus’ of management’s search, the team building process has suffered.

    This is not to get into a Price debate… I am not going there. But the habs will NOT be an elite level team again AS LONG AS our BEST PLAYER, OUR No. 1 STAR, year after year after year is without any competition, our goaltender.

    Look how many years management have sought to ride the coattails of a Patrick Roy ‘replacement’ with their coaching, their approach to the game (team construction and systems) and (maybe without them really realizing it) their drafting and player selections.

  29. Chris says:

    I got 5 minutes into Gary Bettman’s press conference and couldn’t continue.

    1) I absolutely can’t stand that man. Never could, and he’s managed to descend from “putrid” to something far lower in my eyes. He is the most disingenuous person in this process.

    2) “A long-term deal was crucial to us”. Then why, Gary, was it only put on the table on December the 6th? Until now, every NHL CBA proposal has been 5 years. Every single one of them. Suddenly it jumps to 8 years and this was a crucial have?

    That is one strange manner of negotiation. I’m going to start with a whole bunch of ludicrous proposals (10 year UFA status, 5 year entry contracts, massive rollback to ~43% of a downgraded HRR) but not mention one of the two or three things that are absolutely a must-have?

    BS. There is no other way of reading that statement.

    3) “100 Million of virtual money was put on the table”. Right…I’ve got a virtual gold bar here that I will give you in exchange for the ownership of the Montreal Canadiens. What? You don’t accept virtual money?

    The 100 Million the owners put on the table is the players’ money. It is not a concession if it doesn’t cost you anything.

    The owners have not conceded ANYTHING in this process. Not one thing.

    They came into this process with a shopping list of things they wanted to take away from the players, and the players came into the process hoping to keep everything they could.

    Gary Bettman: You have a deal on the table, if your shrivelled little weasel mind can wrap itself around it.

    1) 50/50 revenue split have already been agreed upon moving forwards. While there are a number of contracts that won’t fit under that umbrella over the next 1-3 years, there are a bare handful that extend longer than that. The NHL as a collective is already profitable with only 43% of the revenues. At 50%, even with having to honour the contract the owners signed in good faith, they will be making even more money. This is a ridiculous hill to die on, to quote Daly.

    2) Eliminate salary cap loopholes – the PA has already agreed that cap hits must be honoured even if the player is not in the NHL. So the incentive for teams to circumvent the salary cap is gone.

    3) Salary Cap – maintained, and will be set at a lower level based on 50% of HRR. Given the constraint of a hard salary cap and an inability to ditch contracts, there is no need to “die” for 5 year term limits. This must have everything to do with trying to drive profits even higher through insurance, so let’s have some honesty.

    In your next press conference, tell us the savings to the NHL in terms of contract insurance costs by limiting all deals to 5 years or less (7 years for your own player). And then, using the real numbers, demonstrate that without this you can not turn a profit. The problem here is that you can’t. You are already turning a profit. So your phony emotion in that press conference is blowing smoke.

    The inability to circumvent the salary cap will already remove much of the incentive to sign insanely long deals like those of Kovalchuk or Luongo or Hossa. For the other long deals, the owners are banking on that the reducing salary scale represents an accurate reflection of the player’s worth at that age. The players are exchanging higher-salaries on the short-term with job security. I don’t understand why Daly feels this is worth dying for, but I think you could argue that the NHL leadership is stunningly incompetent at the best of times.

    Although I’m often accused of absolving the players, I do not. Their salaries sicken me. But the reality is that there is enough money on the table for both sides to walk away with handsome profits.

    The owners do not have to bear any financial risk. The players can’t avoid their own risk, of being one elbow or one rut in the ice or one Primate Pushing You Into a Stanchion meltdown away from no career.

    • habstrinifan says:

      I think Fehr has a big a hand in whatever happened as Bettman did.

      • Chris says:

        Unfortunately, I do not buy that logic.

        EVERYTHING the NHL needs to be sustainable and profitable is already on the table and agreed upon.

        If Bettman can not convince his owners of that, he is incompetent.

    • commandant says:

      You hit it on the head again Chris.

      The NHL’s sticking points just don’t make any sense.

      These being “hills to die on” when the CBA length wasn’t even on the table til yesterday, and the 5 year limitation makes no sense with the fact that cap hits will not expire with retirement.

      It seems to me the NHL is walking away and disagreeing for the sake of disagreeing here when there is a deal right there on the table.

      I think the goal from the beginning was to create chaos in the NHLPA.

      Go Habs Go!
      Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I think secretly none of the owners want hockey ever played again. 🙂

        • commandant says:

          They want to play again. They just want an NFLPA style union with no power. As soon as they get that, kiss guaranteed contracts goodbye.

          Go Habs Go!
          Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Well this person here loves the NFL!

          • mdp2011 says:

            And as a hockey fan, please tell me what’s wrong with not having guaranteed contracts anymore? You perform, you get paid, you don’t perform, you don’t get paid, just like real life.

          • Ozmodiar says:

            The NHL made them an offer yesterday, complete with guaranteed contracts.

            You’re probably right about them wanting the union to have less power…like any other employer.

          • commandant says:

            Whats wrong with non-guaratneed contracts?

            I don’t know about you, but I have a problem when a kid gets a career ending injury in training camp or one of his first games and gets cut like a piece of meat that has reached its best before date.

            Go Habs Go!
            Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

          • Kooch7800 says:

            Would that not be covered by insurance if you get injured and lose out on your big contract? You would lose out on your next contract but wouldn’t you get paid for the contract you were on?

            “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • Cal says:

      “But the reality is that there is enough money on the table for both sides to walk away with handsome profits.”

      So why don’t they make the deal? Perception? Obstinacy?
      Owners have always dictated terms to employees, but NHL players have excellent working conditions and make terrific money. If they don’t like it, let them try to earn the same money in any other hockey league.

      • Chris says:

        The last time the owners got obstinate, exactly what you propose happened. The WHA was born, and salaries skyrocketed as a bidding war ensued.

        The NHL eventually won out, but at the cost of massive salary escalation.

        Be careful what you wish for, Cal. There is big money in the business of hockey, and right now the owners are still doing relatively well compared to some of their peers in other sports.

        If they make the best players available to other leagues, those leagues **will** react and find a way to pay them.

        Right now, the KHL and other European leagues that you disdain so much are not viable options. But they could become viable in an awful hurry if the players suddenly start flowing into the Swedish Elite League or the Swiss League or the German league in droves.

        You don’t think CBC would pitch money to any league in the world to have a hockey property?

        Or TSN, who desperately need hockey to fill their broadcasting hours?

        The last television deal for CBC to air Saturday night games was ~ $100 million over 6 years.

        It will go for far, far more next time. There is big money on the table, as the public has an insatiable desire for hockey in this country and there are expected to be multiple bidders.

        It won’t matter if those games are in Montreal, Columbus or Stockholm. People want to watch the best hockey players play.

        It might take 3-5 years, or even longer, to get such a league up to speed. But it is coming.

        • Cal says:

          Europe will never be viable for North American viewers. The time difference is too great, unless they want to play in front of empty arenas at 1 or 2PM local time. I don’t think I’d watch players dressed like NASCAR drivers playing in Stockholm. There is no local element that would make me watch. Fans are loyal to their teams, Chris, not just players. Players come and go, but the team remains (in viable hockey markets, anyway).
          The WHA was formed by prospective owners that weren’t allowed in the NHL owners club. They did drive salaries up, but were dead in what, 7 seasons? And only 4 teams survived. Let the KHL or whatever European league try. They will fail miserably.

    • frontenac1 says:

      Good post Amigo.

  30. commandant says:

    When do Oscar nominations come out. I want to nominate Bettman for “angry press conference”.

    What a show he put on last night.

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

  31. otisfxu says:

    As I said last week, if fans thought a bunch of hockey players sitting around a table were going to wrap this all up, walk out and hand Betmman and Fehr a signed, sealed and delivered document, they is dream’n.

    There are some key issues here that both sides need to reach a middle point on.
    Sure the players want to play – Duh!! But it’s not about 18 players.
    It’s about a business. It’s about two sides afraid to sign anything that is going to screw them down the road – only because that road is the same one this league has been on forever – going year to year, CBA to CBA, with no clear destination.

  32. SegerHabs says:

    I am tired of seeing the Make-Whole number (383m, 300m, 191m)…How does this number affect each individual player? I’m hoping someone can help me if I’m off base with my thinking.

    I admit I’m about to take an extremely simplistic approach to the numbers, but I really need clarification to understand this issue.

    At the bare minimum, 22 players per roster, 30 teams = 660 players per year (and we know that it is actually closer to 700-750).

    The NHLPA requires 383million to Make-Whole. Ignoring the 50million for pension from the NHL, The NHL offer is 250million to Make-Whole. Leaving a difference of $133,000,000.

    Divide that money difference by the players and you get an amount of $201,515 per player.

    It is probably safe to assume that the league minimum will not go below the 575k (or whatever the actual number is), so there should be no worries of these players dropping down to 300k. What does these players have to lose?

    1.5million to 700k player range would probably be most upset with losing 200k. But these players will only have a 5-6 year career earning these amounts to pay for the next 40 years of their life. Is missing a full year of pay a smart move when they only have a short span to earn these dollars? Ultimately these are the players that need to be playing, but also would be most upset with the paycut.

    Now my real confusion is why the $8.7 million a year, 7m/y, 6m/y, 5m/y are so opposed to accepting the offer and have a 400k reduction (to offset the minimum wage players lack of reduction) from these amounts. Again isn’t missing out of 6 million this year, more than they will ever lose from accepting the NHL current offer?

    I apologize if I rambled, but I just want to get a number and effect placed on each individual players as opposed to looking at the entire combined amount. Are the players being told “You will lose 200million dollars” and they are completely up in arms over the shocking figure or has the math been shown to each individual that if you make X dollars, then your adjusted salary will be Y less? (Which I’m assuming is 200-400k but the ultimate purpose of this post was to see if my thinking is wrong)

    “We’ll be back in the high life again, all the doors I closed one time
    will open up again. We’ll be back in the high life again, all the eyes that watched us once will smile and take us in” – Steve Winwood

  33. habstrinifan says:

    Good Morning everyone! I haven’t been able to closely follow the ‘talks’ after the optimism of the Wednesday marathon talks.

    I knew from Pierre McGuire and Brian Wilde not to fall for all the rosy prognostications that the end of the stalemate was in sight.

    Still, I am astonished at the headlines this morning on the sports pages. “Talk implode!” “Commish shakes with Rage!” Wow! I have a lot of catch-up reading but it seems that things got WORSE!

    In all of this I learned a startling piece of information listening to Brian Wilde on TSN990. Check this out! According to Brian Wilde, approximately 240 players, who were due paying members of the NHLPA, DID NOT PLAY one SINGLE game more in the NHL after the last lockout. Their careers came to a screeching halt.

    Something the rank and file of the NHLPA needs to consider.

    Now on to read the Gionta, Cole etc article.

  34. Habfan10912 says:

    Good Morning all! In REAL hockey news, with 1g and 1a last night Gally moved to second in scoring in the OHL.


    • Bripro says:

      I’m excited Jim. He’s gonna be a keeper. G’morning to you too.
      I’m just sitting here, waiting for the oil furnace repair man….
      Got a little cool last night. Thank God I’ve got a wood stove and gas stove for back up.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      That is the best news we will get hockey related all day my friend! Good Morning Jim and Bri!

  35. icky pop says:

    The players should all get Gretzky sweaters and have a 99% rally

  36. icky pop says:

    And if we keep going though this every five to seven years, a 21 team league could end up being a reality.

  37. icky pop says:

    Yea, I know that players like brad staubitz, Colton Orr, Sean Avery, Matt Cooke and the likes would hate to see their jobs gone.

  38. 24 Cups says:

    I’m not sure if this has been posted but both sides have agreed to make the January payments for the oldtimer pension relief fund (Senior Player Benefit Plan).–nhl-players-owners-agree-to-do-right-thing-cox

  39. icky pop says:

    I could care less about who’s right in the negotiations anymore. The players will always have my support, and here is why. When suter and parise signed with the wild, the news story I read about it quoted the gym as saying to the owner when approached by the players shared agent about signing both, ” can we afford to sign both?” And the owner replied “how can we afford not to”. Maybe not exact quotes, but that is pretty much the exact words. The story went on about how the owner and gm believe that this changes everything, and that these signings give their franchise a face, an it does. So they land these players that they have said will put fans in the seat, and naturally will sell tons of merch, and get them in the playoff race for years to come, if the gm knows how to run a hockey team. A month later they want a quarter of the money back, along with half of the duration? Every player in the NHL could back me into a corner, and run a relay marathon on me and poor little hiney, and I would still support them, cuz that is crap that they talk about how this changes the game for the wilds market, and a month later are talking about how they can’t afford them. Also, I don’t see how it’s the players fault that the teams in the sunbelt struggling to pay their bills. 10 teams can’t pay their bills from what I hear. Why what a coincidence, there’s 10 teams to many in the NHL. Remove 10 teams, and we will have good hockey back. You know the hockey I’m talking about. The high flying, high scoring hockey that we used to enjoy when the talent wasn’t spread too thin across the league like butter spread over too much toast.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Somehow I don’t think the players would support you in canning 10 teams though.

      I would love a 21 team league again.

      • 24 Cups says:

        I think a 32 team league is a reality by the end of the decade. The new markets are there, even with an eventual Phoenix transfer.

        • commandant says:

          People keep talking about this 21 team league like we had in the 80s, because apparently “expansion has diluted the game”.

          Thats not exactly true, when you consider the great growth of hockey in the United States and the fact that the number of players who come from Europe has now exploded. The talent level hasn’t dropped.

          Go Habs Go!
          Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

          • HabinBurlington says:

            So now I can’t even dream about a league with more talent on every roster? Doh!

          • commandant says:

            I didn’t say that Burly.

            I merely said the idea that teams have “less talent” today vs the old 21 team league isn’t exactly true.

            Were their calls in the 80s that the 21 team league needed to go back to 16 teams or 12, or even 6?

            Go Habs Go!
            Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

    • wjc says:

      Iccy, the players you speak of have agents, well versed on the everyday running of the NHL. They would know a new CBA was going to negotiated that put things in a different light.

      It is not that these teams cannot afford these players, that is not the issue. These players are an investment that gets fans excited and they buy tickets, pay-per-view, merchandise etc. A new CBA was going to come into effect, nobody knew what it would entail.

      That is why long term deals were insisted upon and bonus’s were factored in as a protection. These contracts could have been higher then normal to allow for new CBA. As it worked out a new CBA is being negotiated and everyone was aware of this.

      These players are not minors and they are well represented in these deals. I know you support the players no matter what, however, do you think dropping some money off of these contracts is really that big a deal. I mean how much money do you need, how many lexus’s can you drive.

      Bettman grew the league into new territory and as a result increased revenues by about a billion dollars. This is new money, markets they are pursuing and if you think the product is too watered down, you do not have to watch. You are talking about 250 player jobs you profess to speak and stick up for.


  40. Saywhat says:

    Chaos theory seems to be involved here.
    Do as I say not as I do.
    Goodwill Gone!
    And so AM I.

  41. Cal says:

    Just finished listening to the Cole phone interview. All I can say is Puck Cole. And replace the P with F.
    Odd that both Cole and Gorges were not optimistic about those talks. Their comments sound very much like the PA was going to scuttle the latest offer no matter what.

  42. HabinBurlington says:

    Interesting tweet from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post.
    adater ‏@adater
    From deep inside players side: “We were ready to play again. But Don came in (Wed.) and told us we could get more and to hold out”

    • Dust says:

      i read that too last night. it got my blood boiling

    • 24 Cups says:

      Gerald – I love how the pendulum of support here on HI/O swings back and forth between the owners and players.

      Regardless, it’s just 2 1/2 weeks until Christmas and there’s still no hockey. I’m still hoping for a 48 game schedule so the Habs can at least enhance their chances of getting a top end draft pick. That’s still the prime objective if you’re a Montreal fan.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        It’s why we have to have hockey Steve. We get royally pucked if we get into a lottery ball system I fear.

        • ed lopaz says:

          yes! we must play the games to prove how bad we are, so we can get another top 5 pick – maybe jonathan drouin, who looks like the 2nd coming of claude giroux

          its a crazy time to be a Habs fan for sure!!

          • HabinBurlington says:

            I have to caution how I sounded. I will not be cheering for the team to lose or tank. I just think our current makeup of a team will not challenge for a cup or be guaranteed a playoff spot. We are a team which will be better in the future. I hear you Ed and Steve!

          • 24 Cups says:

            Ed – Crazy times for sure.

            I’m very fortunate in terms of having been around for all the glory years.

            It really wasn’t that difficult to win the Cup back in the Richard/Beliveau days. It was basically a three team league at the time.

            Then there was The Flower. What a player. The last true star this franchise has ever had. Man, those were the days.

            Then Patrick Roy. I never warmed up to him but he brought the team it’s last two Cups. The ’93 Cup belongs to him – not the team. It was the best goaltending I’ve seen since Bower and Sawchuk won the ’67 Cup for Toronto. Another occasion when a goalie stole the Cuyp for his team when they really had no business winning it.

            The last 20 years? What ifs and excuses. A total embarrassment (outside of a few years and individual players.)

            Let’s assume that Price, Subban and Galchenyuk can develop into building blocks. Right now, only Price has shown that potential at the NHL level but let’s play the ‘what if’ game. Add one more piece and the team will be finally showing some true potential.

  43. Dust says:

    I started this lockout supporting the players. Now, I fully support the owners. After everything I’ve read i believe the owners are interested in the long term health of the game and the players are being taken for a ride by an egotistical Fehr. He wrecked baseball for a lot of fans, and now he is wrecking hockey for a lot of fans.

    How do you get labour peace with a shorter deal? I don’t know but thats the Donalds solution!

  44. Cal says:

    Back to the drawing board. Hope the players enjoy the nothing they’re getting this season.
    Spot the Back to the Future reference:

  45. ed lopaz says:

    when the most famous union leader in recent Canadian history, Buzz Hargrove, tells the CBC last night that Fehr`s antics were totally off base, lacked leadership, and mislead his own constituents who were tuning in from all over the world, I think the pro-labor people in this conflict should take notice.

    a union man like Hargrove does not criticize a labor leader every day.

    it is utterly disgraceful what Fehr did to the process last night.

    and I was very satisfied that a man like Hargrove, who usually would support Fehr and the players in the most partisan way, was objective enough to see what Fehr had done and call him out on it.

    • Dust says:

      Hopefully the players have taken notice and they remove Fehr so a deal can be signed.
      Why wont Fehr put a deal up for a vote? Why?

      • 24 Cups says:

        Union leaders usually only put an offer to a vote when they can safely predict the outcome. Usually an outcome that is to their liking.

        That is why the Catholic teachers’ union brass signed on with the Ontario provincial government WITHOUT even letting the teachers see the agreement, let alone vote on it. Another example was in York Region where the teachers voted down an offer accepted by the union leadership. Union leaders usually like votes to be confirmations with predictable outcomes.

        Thre’s lots of rhetoric before a strike but once the workers are out on the street they soon realize they are totally out of the loop. The fanfare dies down, the cheques stop coming and a sense of isolation sets in. They may even be fairly or unfairly criticized by the public and media. Eventually they go back to work but usually on a contract that was close to what their final offer was before the strike began. That fact of life is tough to handle once you eventually go back to work. This entire situation is no longer about hockey or being a Hab fan on a website. It’s about labour negotiations. Posters might want to google Caterpillar, Hostess and Rogers Cable to see just how ugly it can get.

        Regardless of which side you are on, it is now quite apparent that this bottleneck is all on Bettman and Fehr. Any sane person can see that there is room for a deal here. The players are going to have to accept some contract strips, but they knew that way back in September.

    • Cal says:

      Fehr’s lies last night were disgraceful. Management and owners are pretty much always being criticized for not being good enough or sheer incompetence, but what Fehr demonstrated last night was that the players are just as incompetent: they hired the guy AND his BROTHER takes over the reins once this CBA deal is signed? Well done, idiots.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Is this the link to the story you reference Ed?

      I find Buzz’s point regarding 3rd Party Arbitration to be interesting. He feels by doing so, both sides will finally put their best offer on the table.

      • ed lopaz says:

        no, it was an audio interview with Ian Hanomansing last night after Bettman spoke to the media.

        I also like the arbitration idea.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Okay, thanks Ed, my search continues. 🙂

          I do wonder if Buzz also has a bit of an alterior motive, I wonder if perhaps he was hoping to be appointed head of the NHLPA. I understand the point he is making, but have that thought in the back of my mind.

    • wjc says:

      Ed, that is amazing coming from Hargrove. He never criticizes union leaders


  46. smiler2729 says:

    Whatever…. They’ve lost me.
    I drop in here once a week or so to see if HI/O still exists, it’s become pretty insignificant.

  47. Mill4ever says:

    I am so done with this circus. Both parties overplay their hand right now. I hope the fans will not forget this once this insane lockout ends. I hope revenues drop to 50% of what they were last year.

  48. BJ says:

    Great time for the oil rich KHL to create an original six from Canada and the US. Call them the Montreal Maroons, Toronto Arenas, Detroit Falcons, Boston Braves, Chicago Cougars and the New York Americans. Stock up the teams with the best of the 30 NHL teams. Seasons are shorter in Europe, so lodge the players in Russia and let them play under those names. That might create pressure on the No Hockey League ownership. Great exposure for the KHL. At this point I just look forward to watching a few Bulldogs and Sarnia Sting games.

  49. JoaquindaPark says:

    It is beyond me how people can blame Bettman for all this. The guy wasn’t even part of it. He just faced the media after Don Fehr royally peeved the owners. Time to look to the other side for an idiot. Has anyone asked themselves how on earth Fehr could announce that a deal was almost reached? He played with media and fans hearts like they are toys. He knew he lost the owners by asking for too much. fact is Fehr does not want an 8 year deal because he likes these games and wants another bargaining session in 5 years. Are people in the media not seeing this? Fehr had no business doing what he did last night. It is grand time he step aside. If it had not been for him we would have a deal right now.

    • Dust says:

      Agree completely. I think it’s funny how Fehr says he wants to put an end to labour disputes. Yet, he doesn’t want a long term agreement. Hahahah too funny.

  50. Sean Bonjovi says:

    I have a new signature. If I’ve infringed on any copyrights please let me know.

    *”I don’t mind if you disagree with me (it seems the thing to do!) But for the love of all that is right in the world please at least don’t take the words from one horses mouth (or the other end) as what is true…”*
    – SmartDog

  51. Riga Fraction says:

    The only way I want this lockout to come to an end is with the retirement, firing, removal, banishment (whatever term you wish to use) of Gary Bettman to prevent this garbage from ever occurring again and to prevent anymore of the massive damage he has caused to the sport in the name of his fragile little ego. If that means we lose two full years to accomplish that, so be it. I would be more concerned if they signed on the dotted line today and carried on with Bettman leading the march than I would with losing 2 more seasons. I’ve always felt that way.

    If it takes a rival hockey league coming in to purge the NHL of it’s talent, so be it. Long as the guy in charge actually cares about the sport, and the players playing that sport I’m all for it. The Gary Bettman experiment has gone on for 20 yrs, it’s time to move on to something different and allow us to have NHL hockey back finally. I am done with the garbage this little rat has forced on us.

    • Dust says:

      How can you blame Bettman. He wasn’t even involved in these meetings. It went sour when Fehr got back involved.
      if Fehr put the nhls last deal up for a vote with the NHLPA i truely feel a deal would have been made.

      • Chris says:

        If the NHL had taken the PA’s offer to the owners, would 16 of them settled?

        Let’s be honest…both sides here are representing their hawk elements. The moderates want to play and already have everything they wanted.

  52. Riga Fraction says:

    There’s an expression used around the MLB to describe one of the biggest pieces of work in the history of the sport. It applies here as well….

    Just Gary being Gary… shame he can’t test positive for drugs and be removed from the sport effectively for the rest of his life for it.

  53. commandant says:

    Chris and SmartDog absolutely nailed it out of the park in the last thread.

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

  54. Habilis says:

    I understand where these players are coming from with respect to their position in this negotiation. They feel like they are being squeezed and they absolutely are.

    What they don’t seem to understand or want to understand is that people have to get squeezed every now and again, that’s how a multi-billion dollar industry survives long term. The economics of such an industry are fluid and as such adjustments are necessary, sometimes big adjustments, in order to keep the machine running.

    If the NHL was say, a car company with a budget that showed it was paying too much in salary, what do you think they would do? They’d cut salary one way or another.

    That’s exactly what’s happening here.

    • Chris says:

      Except the NHL was running record profits. They have a revenue sharing problem, not a profit problem.

      I’m not pro-union, by nature. And I agree that adjustments are necessary when you look at the grand scheme.

      Here in Ontario, I think the teachers federation (along with all civil servants, a group that includes myself) need to adjust our salaries downwards as the pot of money those salaries come from is shrinking and a crisis is staring at us.

      The NHL does not fit this model. I don’t understand how there can be so many people that have enough money to pack the arenas, but the NHL has basically been pulling down record profits and record revenues for every year of this CBA.

      If the franchisees agreed to share their profits more fairly, every owner in the league would be making money. Shifting their share from 43% to 50% will ensure that they make a significant amount of money.

      EVERYTHING else in this negotiation is noise.

  55. The Dude says:

    On a positive note the Habs still haven’t lost a game and it’s almost the birthday of the most famous Jewish guy ever”Sammy Davis Jr”,mazel tov.

  56. habs1966 says:


  57. commandant says:


    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

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