Bourque leads fantasy comeback

Bourque

Suffering Canadiens withdrawal? The Gazette has the answer with the ultimate fantasy experience as beat writer Pat Hickey and Gazette techie Eric Tobon employ EA Sports NHL 13 to produce The Season That Isn’t. Here’s how things might have looked in Monday night’s game between the Canadiens and the Nashville Predators at the Bell Centre.

PAT HICKEY

The Gazette

Rene Bourque scored twice in the third period to give the Canadiens a 4-3 victory over the Nashville Predators Monday night at the Bell Centre.

Bourque, who has taken advantage of playing on the top line with David Desharnais and Erik Cole, scored at 15:19 to tie the game at 3-3 and then provided the Canadiens with their only lead of the game at 19:21.

“I can understand why people want to play with Davey (Desharnais),” said Cole. “On the tying goal, he did a great job of winning a battle behind the net and somehow he managed to get the puck out to me. He had his back to the net but he just seems to know that the play is there,”

Bourque did some battling of his own on the game winner. He appeared to be tied up by a defenceman in front of the net but managed to redirect Josh Gorges’ shot from the point.

With back-to-back games on the schedule, coach Michel Therrien decided to give Peter Budaj his first home start this season and save Carey Price for Tuesday’s game in New Jersey. The Slovak ran his record to 3-0 but not before Martin Erat provided him with some anxious moments. Erat scored power-play goals at 9:09 and 11:27 of the first period to give Nashville a 2-0 lead. Former Canadien Sergei Kostitsyn assisted on both goals.

“We took some lazy penalties and then we didn’t do the job on the PK,” said Therrien. “We were lucky that they took some penalties in the third period.”

What had been a goaltending duel between Budaj and Pekka Rinne became a wide-open game over the final 13 minutes. P.K. Subban matched Erat’s output with two power-play goals of his own. He went backdoor to take a pass from Desharnais at 7:02 and then scored on a slapshot from the point at 10:01.

Patric Hornqvist put the Predators back on top when he scored during a goalmouth scramble at 13:56.

Andrei Markov left the game late in the second period. Therrien said the defenceman didn’t reinjure his surgically repaired knee. He said he didn’t believe the injury was serious but that Markov would not accompany the team to New Jersey. Therrien said that Raphael Diaz has been cleared to play and will probably dress Tuesday.    

phickey@montrealgazette.com

217 Comments

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  3. 24 Cups says:

    Bwoar – Your question got me thinking about which Habs would have the most to lose if the season is a total washout (acknowledging that no person ever wants to lose salary)

    Least to lose – MaxPac, Eller, DD, Diaz, Emelin and to an extent, Subban.

    Most to lose – Noke, White, Armstrong, Boullion, Weber and Budaj. All marginal players whose contracts will expire. Could be the first casualties of the next CBA job market.

    Bad timing with the clock ticking – Bourque, Prust and Moen.

    Bad timing with the clock ticking but still loaded with coin – Gomez and Kaberle

    Bad timing with time still on my side – Subban and Galchenyuk

    Set for life but might need to sell off a handful of luxury cars – Price, Markov, Pleks, Gionta, Cole and Gorges.

    • bwoar says:

      Good post. I wonder at the wisdom of guys like Gorges. A #4 D on a good team, gets a big contract, then can’t collect. With his style and, frankly average skillset, how many years of that salary can he expect? Prust is in that same boat IMO, and the same age.

      I dunno that Weber has that much to lose, but for the rest, ouch.

      I’d put DD in the “Bad timing with time still on my side” category. What will a year off do to him after tasting some NHL money? Can his trajectory towards #1 C stay on track?

      I sure hope we get to find out!

      • 24 Cups says:

        Biff – I put DD in that category due to the fact that he’s “only” making $850,000 this season. But as you pointed out, things could get crowded at centre next season with Gally on the team. I still think the fact that DD is French will carry him through.

        As for Weber, I figure only one of Weber/Diaz makes it next year in Montreal. Diaz is signed for 2013-14, Weber isn’t. Doesn’t mean he won’t catch on with another team.

  4. 24 Cups says:

    I don’t follow baseball that closely anymore but is the John Gibbons hiring the same thing as the Michel Therrien hiring by Montreal? Or does the French language factor make it an unfair comparison?

    Second question. Does anyone recall (as in really know) how many years Therrien signed on for? We all will rejoice if Gomez and Kaberle get one step closer to leaving town but will the Habs want to keep the coaching door open down the road seeing that THerrien’s time line has shortened?

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      The Gibbons hiring is similar to the hiring of Therrien except the Blue Jays have a 15-1 shot of winning the World Series and the Habs would probably be 50-1 or 75-1 to win the Cup, if there was hockey being played. Gibbins is inheriting a very good ball team or at least a very good roster.

    • JF says:

      Three. I think Bergevin’s choices for assistant coaches and Bulldogs coach can be seen as an attempt to deepen the pool of coaching talent so that when Therrien’s time is up, we won’t be forced to choose the lesser of only two or three evils (although I actually like the hiring of Therrien). Perhaps he sees Sylvain Lefebvre as Therrien’s successor.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I think it is different, Gibbons after being fired from Toronto took positions of lower status (bench coach with Padres, and Manager of a Double A team) since his departure.

      Whereas Therrien took another head coaching job and made it to a Stanley Cup final.

  5. Hobie Hansen says:

    The only thing that bothers me more than not being able to watch hockey is listening to people analyze the developments and having to listen to interviews from both sides. It is literally like listening to someone scratch a chalkboard.

    People complain about players using generic phrases and never saying what’s really on their minds. The NHL and NHLPA are even worse. It is so boring and uninformative that I change the station or move to another article immediately.

    It is two sides fighting over a pile of money, plain and simple. It’s a case of who will blink first. And until someone does blink there is nothing to talk about. Play-by-play of the lockout is so agonizingly boring.

    Do the players care about hockey and the fans, sure they do. But I can guarantee Bettman doesn’t give a rats about anyone or anything except his bank account and the same goes for Don Fehr. Seeing both of those jokes at the hall of fame ceremonies was sickening.

    If Bettman has to present the Stanley Cup or even make an appearance in a Canadian building I figure he will probably be very concerned for his safety?

  6. Chris says:

    Wow…just saw that the Hamilton Tiger-Cats DID decide to schedule their home games next season at the University of Guelph.

    Yikes. If you are a Tiger-Cats fan, then I feel bad for you. The parking situation is not going to be all that fun at all, especially when school is in.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I am a Tiger-Cat fan but only attend one or two games a year I honestly feel bad for the season ticket holders in Hamilton and surrounding area. That is a bit of a hike. Kind of a slap in the face to the people who have supported the team

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • 24 Cups says:

      This is a real question as I’m not that familiar on the surrounding Hamilton area. Where else would they be able to play? What about the Rogers Centre?

      • HabinBurlington says:

        McMaster was most logical, after that, you are asking the fans to go way to far compared to what they are used too. The other option I thought was to commit perhaps 6 games to Halifax, as a tool to truly promote the CFL there and see if the interest is enough to warrant expansion.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I had posted earlier about this, and cannot for the life of me figure out how a deal could not be worked out with McMaster. There are so many fans of the Ti-Cats who live in the immediate downtown area, who will not be able to attend Cats games.

    • Blondie says:

      Neither is the drive. It’s not exactly around the corner.

  7. Cal says:

    Why the players are looking particularly stupid this lockout:
    http://www.torontosun.com/2012/11/19/war-of-words-hatting-up

  8. Cal says:

    What a surprise (insert sarcasm font here).
    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=409911

    • New says:

      Yeah. Wednesday will be a 15000 page submission humbly bourne forward on a silk pillow . Five minutes later, after a quick break for a smoke and pee, Gary Bettman will return to say the owners are disappointed and a two week break is in order. A five year old could write this script.

  9. bwoar says:

    The fact is, the young players really don’t seem to notice what it is that they are losing, RIGHT NOW. They have little to no concept of the actual length of their careers. This is not a problem with hockey players per se, but concentrated in them because of the bubble of the entertainment industry they’re part of.

    Some veterans have admitted since the last lockout(s) that at the time they had completely lost sight of what not playing hockey for a year actually meant to them, not only in salary, but in the contexts of their careers.

    There are career milestones that will not be met. Numbers that in and of themselves mean nothing while you’re still in the game but provide satisfaction after the fact. There are playoff rounds at stake – for players who’ve played little to no playoff games in their careers, this is terrible. With so few chances to compete for the Stanley Cup in your career, some will miss out on a crucial opportunity to battle for the Cup. An opportunity that might only come once, if it ever does.

    When the kids who are wagging the dog right now reach age 35, and there are 1-way deals on the table from bottom feeders and the waiver wire and the AHL is looming, they might wish that they hadn’t decided to give the finger to the NHL for a year after all. When the cheers turn to “BOO! That guy’s too old, get rid of the bum!” the glory years become more precious. When that knee acts up. When the back spasms start. When the collarbone aches in the morning.

    Worst of all, when the smug kid from Brampton or Surrey or Salaberry-de-Valleyfield skates by you in scrimmage and you have to haul him down, and help him back up sheepishly and pretend it was an accident, remembering when you used to turn the old dogs inside-out.

    I’ll be g-ddamned if anyone can convince me that 22- and 23-year old hockey players are thinking about these things between trying on their ‘Puck Gary’ hats and their #joel dances & posting the results on Instagram.

    As for meatheads like Erik Cole, well, there’s just not a single excuse for his level of insouciance. The veterans enabling these displays are shameful examples for the young guys who don’t know any better.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      I suspect the players are well aware of what they are losing.

      But here’s the thing.

      The owners offered the players a 25% pay cut.

      The players said no, and the owners locked them out.

      What would you do if your boss came to you and said “Hey our business is thriving, profits are up, how about a pay cut?”


      Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

      • bwoar says:

        If my boss came to me and said “Hey our business is thriving, profits are up, how about a pay cut?”

        First, I’d refuse, and offer to ply my trade elsewhere if they weren’t willing to pay what I’d negotiated. Secondly, I’d go and do just that, and never work for that boss again.

        Simple as that. I’m dearly hoping that that is just what 700 NHLers decide to do. That’s what a labour market is: you don’t like what one guy is offering, you work for someone else. What’s so hard about that for hockey players? Actually – nothing! They do it all the time, by going to Europe rather than fade away in the AHL. And props to them for doing it.

        I’m non plussed at the amount of people still, on Nov 20, still harping about the owners’ first offer. After having negotiation offers rebuffed all summer by the PA. The ‘babe in the woods’ free ride you guys here give the players on a daily basis is astounding. They didn’t bring Fehr in so they could make nice.

      • Chris says:

        I just don’t get this myself.

        Who are the ones that have invented all these inventive ways to circumvent the salary cap? The owners and their management teams are the ones offering the contracts and hiring capologists to figure out ways around the deal that they themselves implemented.

        But somehow this affair is slowly becoming the players’ fault. They should give up negotiation rights AND a huge amount of money because the owners can’t get their own affairs in order?

        People have pointed out to me that bargaining requires that you start from a ludicrous position and relax back to what your core demands are. Hence the NHL’s insultingly bad initial CBA proposal back in the late summer (that wasn’t negotiation, that was declaration of war).

        But a second part of bargaining is that anything you give up in this negotiation won’t be on the table to give up in the next one, so you’ll be asked to go even further on the next one. The players know that if they agree to the asinine and completely unnecessary contract limitations the owners are demanding (not requesting), they will certainly face even more stringent demands on the next CBA negotiation in 4-6 years time.

        You have to draw a line in the sand at some point. The owners are saying this is their line, but their line has a tendency to keep moving when they realize that their peers do everything they can to cheat the system they themselves implemented. The players are very wary of this moving target, because it was just seven years ago the owners gloatingly declared a massive victory over the NHLPA, and now they are the same side crying that they can’t possibly continue under these horrifically unfair labour conditions.

        What a load of crap.

        • Blondie says:

          lol – great post. I should have waited a bit instead of spending all the time I did on mine below, you’re far more eloquent and on target than I. Props to you sir.

        • twilighthours says:

          Man, I love your dedication to the eloquent comment, but if people aren’t seeing what you’re saying by now…. I don’t know.

          It seems pretty clear to me, anyway. I guess that’s all I’m saying.

        • Ozmodiar says:

          That “second part of bargaining” doesn’t exist.

          The only thing that matters is what is in the final agreement….and even that has an expiry date.

        • bwoar says:

          You are naively ignoring the reality of competition. Why is it that owners circumvent the cap? To win. To sell more tickets. More merch. To keep YOU, the paying fan, happy. I’m sorry Chris but I find your position on this totally hypocritical.

          You call wanting to win, and applying tactics that are in the CBA “not having their affairs in order”? Show me the player who has refused a deal that would be bad for the game? Neither the GMs, nor the players are innocent of creating this mess.

          And when the GMs do ‘get their affairs in order’ and make a secret deal not to send any offer sheets, EVER, nor front-load contracts, EVER, and the NHLPA sues them for collusion and refuses to play hockey? Who then will you be asking to get their affairs in order?

          And are you actually suggesting that the players dig in, burn a year this year so they will have less change of losing anything in the NEXT round of CBA negotiations on 2018 or so? Really?

          The ‘glorious victory’ you call out the owners for celebrating has in reality been a MASSIVE CASH COW for the players. Is that what you mean by a line in the sand?

    • myron.selby says:

      And yet surprisingly, even with all your words of wisdom, these silly players – both young and old – refuse to just take whatever the owners decide to give them and be grateful. Meatheads indeed.

      It’s a darn good thing they have you here to advise them.

      • bwoar says:

        They refuse to negotiate. Period. That they resort to petty stunts makes them meatheads. That they whine like children while earning million dollar paydays (they continue to grow on average) makes them meatheads. Everything Sidney Crosby, Cole, Darche, Gorges, Pacioretty, Krys ‘Poor Me’ Barch, Versteeg, Ian White, etc. have said in the media paints them as utter fools.

        What is Don Fehr’s major skill in negotiating? If you haven’t figured it out, it’s in getting his constituency to trust his word implicitly and back him up no matter what lunacy he brings to the table. Like proposals that are a few lines long, outlining things in broad strokes but refusing to take a position on anything. Like further demonizing the commissioner, since that’s obviously a path to come to an agreement.

        When the players get serious about coming to a mutually painful agreement, I’ll respect their positions.

    • Blondie says:

      Actually bwoar, you make a good point. Although not the one you were trying to I suspect.

      Yes, on the face of it it doesn’t make much sense for players to give up so many intangibles and, potentially, a years reduced salary for what appears to be a trifling sum of money and some movement restrictions. And that is the point; if they were greedy they would have signed as soon as 50/50 was agreed to.

      But there’s a pattern developing here. The last time around, a lockout was imposed, salaries slashed by 24%, and a revenue related salary cap imposed. All in the name of saving those poor, struggling teams. Those teams continued to lose money.

      So this time around they say they need to reduce the cap because it has grown too much and further restrict player movement so that the owners can take advantage of the players for a longer period of time. Do you really think this will solve the problems of the struggling teams?

      No, it won’t.

      So you can bet that this deal whenever it is done will be for a shorter term than the last one and at the end of it there will still be teams struggling. So…lockout, cut the cap some more, restrict player movement more, and so on and so forth, ad infinitum.

      I also find it interesting that the 7% reduction in the players share of revenues corresponds pretty closely with the revenue share being paid by the few profitable teams, who loathe revenue sharing, in revenue sharing. Who’s driving this boat?

      • bwoar says:

        Point to me the signs you see that NHL hockey is alive and healthy? I guess the players have no responsibility here?

        • Blondie says:

          I’m not saying the league doesn’t need some work.

          I don’t necessarily think it’s as bad as the NHL is saying it is however. Those Forbes estimates are just that; estimates, and are based solely on estimating HRR.

          Teams like Columbus aren’t going to be profitable with $20 tickets that include free food and a $10 gas card. Hell, and even at that they can’t fill the building.

          If the NHL is serious about penetrating traditionally non-hockey markets and making a profit while they are at it they have to grow the game at the minor level. It has to be a long-term investment. Promote the sport for kids, and get them playing, so that they and their parents can grow to love it as we did. Then they might be interested in watching the home town professional team, pay worthwhile ticket prices, and be happy to do so.

          Beating on the players every so often is not going to save any of them.

          • bwoar says:

            I don’t disagree with any of your points, but your solution is long term. Owners aren’t only marginally better at long term than hockey players. Short of contraction, I don’t see any immediate fixes. The people making the most money from the game are the players. If they want to have a 30-team league tomorrow, they need to at least admit they are partly responsible for its welfare.

            I’m all for losing the bottom 6 money-losing franchises, but I don’t think that would be all that good for the NHL’s bottom line in the end. In North America hockey needs to be more than just 7 Canadian teams and 6-8 profitable U.S. teams.

            I also don’t think the PA would appreciate a immediate 20% reduction in the labour force. That’s what corporations do, though, when it’s clear that labour won’t budge. They simply lay people off.

          • frontenac1 says:

            Ya Mon, Contraction! Screw NBC and put a bullet in the head of some these bogus franchises. You can try to sell horsesh*t to cowboys for only so long before they ride away and they already rode off into the sunset amigos.

  10. commandant says:

    From Bob Ryan, Boston Globe, and frequent guest on ESPN’s Sports Reporters

    http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2012/11/18/nhl-owners-look-particularly-bad-this-lockout/OE0r3aWjl45euipUf3axwN/story.html

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      This story begs the question: what would make Jeremy Jacobs look better?

      A stanchion approaching his face at 50 mph?

      A live python wrapped around his body?

      Ten million pounds of sludge from New York and New Jersey?

      Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

    • Bripro says:

      That was a great read. Thanks Ben.
      It shows that our discontent is not just our own, and regardless of where the fan-base is located, a fan is still a fan, and we’re all pretty fed up.
      I noticed that Jacobs had a nice tan though.
      That must have happened when he escaped from all the stress of imposing his wishes on Butthead.

  11. joeybarrie says:

    I admit that I have been ignoring it, but I also really do not understand this fantasy gimmick.
    Personally I see no useful purpose. I also see no useless purpose.
    Much better served to see a nonsense story to start a debate.
    I dont even know what to comment on since the whole thing is fantasy.

    At any rate. Frustrating stuff going on in Hockey land.
    Both sides, so stupid.
    If nothing is reached by Tomorrow, I would be very surprised to see a season at this point.
    Why are they even bothering? Clearly neither side cares about the actual game of hockey but only about winning the conflict.
    Boys with toys…….

  12. HabFanSince72 says:

    If there was hockey would we be talking about how long Therrien can last and salivating over next year’s draft?


    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

  13. Bripro says:

    Better hockey days.
    Discussions here about players retiring.
    Players with integrity, such as those spoken of… Selanne and Koivu.
    I remember Koivu returning from his battle with cancer like it was yesterday.
    My boy was seven. And he had met him in a one-on-one session I’ve already re-hashed here too often.
    But it was a magical moment.
    There was no talk of lock-outs or disgruntled players / owners.
    Now, players we watched grow within the organization, then move onto greener pastures … we may never see them again.
    Suddenly, I feel very old and weary.
    Can someone please fire Bettman so that I can get my energy back?

  14. shiram says:

    He was not a popular Habs around here, but reports are Jaroslav Spacek is retiring from hockey.
    If anything, the guy was always a fun interview, and had a good hockey carreer with over 900 NHL games including playoffs and 3 world championship.

    • Mattyleg says:

      I liked ‘im.
      I think his biggest crime, for many people on here, was that he was one of a few older defensemen forced into extra minutes during our Age of Injuries.
      I think he was a handy player who read the game well, and who would have been better as a mentor for a young defenseman rather than being part of a veteran pairing with Hamrlik.

      And he was freakin’ hilarious.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Kooch7800 says:

      He had a great career. I am sure he will enjoy his retirement

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  15. Mattyleg says:

    My biggest worry is that my nearly-two-year-old daughter is being denied hockey at a formative time in her life.

    It upsets me to see her watching basketball highlights in the morning when she should be seeing crunching bodychecks, glove saves, blasts from the point, and spin-o-rama backhands into the top shelf.

    Won’t SOMEBODY think of the children…?

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Cal says:

      You is killing me, Matty. :D That was very close to a “coffee through the nose” moment.

    • Bripro says:

      It looks like you will have to make the eternal sacrifice of turning off the TV and spending some quality time with her.
      Buy her a couple of Habs puzzles and show her how it’s done Mat.
      She’ll have the CH logo impregnated in her brain, and she will thank you for it later.

      *********************************************
      “I’m here to tell you: Gary Bettman hasn’t felt this alive since he killed Harry Potter’s parents.”

      • Mattyleg says:

        Heh heh.
        The only TV she ever watches is the news and sports highlights in the morning for 30 mins or so.

        Going to be taking her to the arena soon and getting her on the cheese-cutters. Can’t wait!

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Phil C says:

      I know, I know. I caught my daughter playing with a soccer ball yesterday. When I tried to take it from her, she fell down, grabbed her shin, and screamed for her mother. This insanity has to stop.. Somebody PLEASE think of the children!!!!

      • Bripro says:

        I hear you. My grandson jammed his finger last night, went screaming for a band-aid from gramma, and blamed it on grampa!
        If I had a hockey distraction, I wouldn’t have even been in the same room and my wife would be talking to me today.

        *********************************************
        “I’m here to tell you: Gary Bettman hasn’t felt this alive since he killed Harry Potter’s parents.”

    • Sean Bonjovi says:

      My Brother’s kid was only five years old when the NHL lost half a season to the ’94 strike and he turned out to be a Bruins fans. If we lose this Entire season you’ll be fighting an uphill battle for a long long time I fear.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I agree Matty! My kids are too past their formative years but my grandchildren suffer along with your 2 year old.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qh2sWSVRrmo

      ———————————–

    • GrimJim says:

      Don’t worry Matty. Like the Jesuits say, you have until age six…

  16. frontenac1 says:

    24 team league,50/50 split on all revenue, no more instigator rule,a cap on beer prices and Bettman”s carcass dumped in the Lachine Canal. Hello Santa?

  17. Chris says:

    Nice post by Greg Wyshynski over at Yahoo about the likely end of Teemu Selanne’s glorious career if this lockout wipes out the season.

    As a Habs fan, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Saku Koivu call it a career as well in this event. And that would be a very sad day for me as a Habs fan.

    When fans say that the players don’t know what they might lose, I will admit to becoming a little frustrated. These guys know very, very well what they are risking. Yet they are still willing to go through with it. It **IS** important to them, even if we fans don’t get it, and I’m not sure it is entirely about greed.

    • Cal says:

      The players have been fed the bs that they “lost” the last deal. Their salaries went up, in some cases tripling from what they were earlier. They have chartered jets flying them around. What exactly did they lose?
      This is more like the players have some ignorant vendetta against Bettman instead of negotiating.

    • commandant says:

      Yeah i looked at guys who might retire if the lockout wipes out a year way back when the lockout started. Selanne and Koivu were two I highlighted.

      Jaromir Jagr is another player on a one year deal who may not get another.

      Daniel Alfredsson, and Sergei Gonchar up the road.

      I know these guys have 2 year deals, but how will a year off effect Martin Brodeur and Ray Whitney.

      Go Habs Go!
      Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
      http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • twilighthours says:

      It’s only a little about greed. Also, it’s about pride, and doing what is right (in their minds).

      It’s also about this: if your bosses handed out raises to you and your buds, then turned around and cried poor, you’d be suspicious of their motives.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I am not sure the NHLPA is exactly thinking of players the age of Koivu and Selanne at this juncture. It would be a shame indeed if those two players have played their last games in the NHL.

      Selanne to me is the epitomy of a pro hockey player. The day he asked Winnipeg not to trade him because he loved it there, showed he cared about the game.

      I wonder if more players were like Koivu and Selanne if we currently have the lockout we do. Just some food for thought.

      • Bripro says:

        If Don Fehr wasn’t leading the negotiations, we might not have a lock-out, period.

        *********************************************
        “I’m here to tell you: Gary Bettman hasn’t felt this alive since he killed Harry Potter’s parents.”

        • commandant says:

          You could say the same about Bettman.

          The NHLPA knew Bettman’s M.O. and decided as a collective to hire a tough negotiator to combat that.

          Go Habs Go!
          Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
          http://lastwordonsports.com/

          • Bripro says:

            Totally agreed Ben. The difference I find is that, yes the players knew, coming into these negotiations, who Bettman was.
            But none of them really knew what Fehr was about.
            If they had, upon hiring him, they might have told him to get the negotiations going subito presto instead of waiting ’till the season was over to start negotiating.

            *********************************************
            “I’m here to tell you: Gary Bettman hasn’t felt this alive since he killed Harry Potter’s parents.”

          • commandant says:

            I’m pretty sure they knew exactly who Fehr was, and exactly what they were getting.

            The idea with Fehr was always that the players wanted someone who would stand up to Bettman and be Bettman’s equal or better in negotiations.

            Go Habs Go!
            Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
            http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • Mike D says:

      Makes you wonder what Teemu’s total NHL stats would look like if his career didn’t span 3 lockouts. Safe to say he’d have over 700 goals, 800ish assists, and likely 1500+ points.

      For the elite level players that have had their careers impacted by work stoppages it must be frustrating to know their places in the record books aren’t where they should be.

      Like you, Chris, I too would be sad if this lockout ends Teemu’s career, and even sadder if it ends Saku’s career. Both guys deserve to go out on a better note and on their own terms.

      – Honestly yours
      Twitter: @de_benny

  18. 69HABS says:

    Players are getting paid Millions of $$$ & getting handsome perks as well. Just shut the hell up take their millions & play what they are getting paid to do.

  19. twilighthours says:

    I really feel for all you folks who are sincerely torn up about this lock out. Suggestions for coping:
    – watch some local hockey
    – play hockey
    – coach hockey
    – take the dog for a walk
    – have a beer
    – go to the gym
    – talk to your wife
    – engage in relations with your wife

    • Timo says:

      Whoa… easy there on the last 2 suggestions.

    • Mattyleg says:

      Some of us do most of those things already and still miss hockey.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Phil C says:

      - Hockey reminds me of NHL hockey, makes me feel even more torn-up
      – Take Knuckles and Gally Jr for a walk? I can’t even say their names…
      – Beer without hockey? Are you insane?
      – What’s a “gym”?
      – Talk to the wife!!? She’s more torn up than I am, there will never be relations again until this thing is settled.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Me, “Hey honey! How bout that Regis and Kelly?”
      Wife, “What are you talking about? Regis left that show months ago you ass!”
      Me, “er uh, you wanna fool around?”
      Wife. “Do you have any idea what I need to do today. I have laundry to do, groceries to get. I have to clean the kitchen and another thing…….”
      Thanks for nothin Twilight! I’m going to the gym. Man, do I miss hockey. :)
      ———————————–

  20. HabinBurlington says:

    Well despite any frustrations I may have with the Gibby hiring, I am excited about the BlueJays for this upcoming season. In light of no NHL hockey, happy to see some good things coming.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      They are finally investing in the team again which is nice to see. They have a pretty decent roster now if they can stay healthy and they should be competitive.

      I will be interested to see how the fans bounce back

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        I think the fans will be back in hordes if the Jays put a winning team on the field. Over the last decade the Jays have had a few spurts of being competitive and the fans have responded well. Unfortunately those spurts have been too few and far between and the crowds end up dwindling off again.

        If they Jays are a top the division you’ll see average crowds of 35,000 to 40,000 fans.

    • ed lopaz says:

      2 months ago I heard an interview with the editor of Baseball America – not a God – but someone objective and someone who follows baseball for a living.

      he ranked the Blue Jays last draft this past summer as far and away the best of any organisation in baseball. he ranked the blue jays as deep or deeper then any other, and he was raving, absolutely raving about A.A. and his brilliance in finding and selecting young talent.

      now the Blue Jays have decided to spend tens of millions by leveraging the great depth they have so they can compete next year.

      as an Expo fan since the outset who literally went to watch games at Parc Jarry in 1969 as a 5 year old, I can say that I never thought I could cheer for the Jays.

      But this is starting to get exciting!!

      I think the 2013 team is stacked with talent from top to bottom.

      I think they will win a crap load of games and they could easily compete for a championship.

      What else could a fan ask for??

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Joe Torre as manager? :) Just kidding Ed, it is exciting times indeed for baseball in Canada. I have said before, Expos were my first love, the Jays have been a forced acquired taste. I love baseball too much to not watch and cheer.

        Good times indeed!

  21. Habfan10912 says:

    By the sounds of it, the only thing the players accomplished yesterday was to find a new income source in those STUPID “Puck Bettman” hats. Just wonderful.

    ———————————–

  22. slamtherimtim says:

    And down goes Markov , even in a video game the guy gets hurt.

    Is PK leding the team in scoring or what , the guy is on fire.

    the quotes are pretty funny from the players , looks like someone is smoking the good stuff

  23. commandant says:

    The second installment of the November Draft Rankings, ranks 11-20

    http://lastwordonsports.com/2012/11/20/november-rankings-2013-nhl-draft-11-20/

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

  24. habsnyc says:

    The playres need to adjust their attitudes. People who get paid a regular salary to play a sport, earning the same whether they perform or not, win or lose are not competitive athletes, they are entertainers. Purely and solely entertainers. Many of these players are lousy entertainers, which is why they get booed. But their form of entertainment is so in demand that they can get paid handsomely even for peforming poorly. They should be grateful that their sport is popular.

    Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

    • commandant says:

      When fans stop showing up, they will stop getting paid.

      Just like movie stars, bands or TV actors, if you aren’t popular, you aren’t getting paid.

      I don’t see what attitude needs to be adjusted here, and why they are the only ones attacked.

      Is it Brad Pitt’s fault that it costs $20 for a popcorn and a coke at the movies now days?

      Go Habs Go!
      Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
      http://lastwordonsports.com/

      • HabinBurlington says:

        So Gomez is still popular? :)

      • Kooch7800 says:

        The more you pay the better the popcorn tastes nom nom nom …oh wait

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • Ozmodiar says:

        >When fans stop showing up, they will stop getting paid.

        That’s not really how it worked out in New Jersey or Phoenix last year. Perhaps the next CBA will be different. :)

        • commandant says:

          Actors don’t stop getting paid after their first box office flop either.

          But if a league wide pattern emerges, then yes, the pay will go down.

          Especially with the way escrow and the link to league wide revenues worked in the last CBA

          Go Habs Go!
          Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
          http://lastwordonsports.com/

          • Ozmodiar says:

            Right. The players’ pay might drop eventually. On the other hand, the owners can start losing money right away.

            Sticking with the movie/actor model….perhaps owners should take away guaranteed contracts. That way if a player isn’t really contributing to putting asses in the seats, the owner could just say – “let’s restructure your contract”. That would take care of the Gomez dilemma.

          • commandant says:

            Movie Studios can lose money on a movie and still be forced to pay the actors their guarantee for the movie.

            Same thing.

            Go Habs Go!
            Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
            http://lastwordonsports.com/

          • Ozmodiar says:

            It would be (closer to) the same if actors signed on for 5-10 movies at a time, for a guaranteed amount to be paid even if the actor fell out of favour.

            How would Paramount feel if Mel Gibson was signed on to do 2 more movies at 25M a pop?

            I’ll bet Geoff Molson could relate. :)

      • wjc says:

        Brad Pitt better not make to many bad movies, and you can bring in your own treats.

        The owners of the theater set the prices at what the market will bear. You decide if that works for you or not. If not….don’t buy.

        If Brad Pitt went on strike/lockout refused to negotiated you might decide to do something else…..go to a play or concert

        wjc

        • frontenac1 says:

          Huh? If these hypothetical movie theatres in the south can’t even give tickets away to a Brad Pitt movie and yet the Theatres in the North are sold out for every showing then what? Pull the movie nationwide? This crap will never be solved longterm until the league accepts that certain markets wIll never support Hockey.If you think it was a pathetic joke before this Lockout just wait till they return. $20 tickets with free food and parking didn’t work last time so now it will?That NBC bs equals about $6million per team per year in revenue ,not profit more than the last deal from versus. If the league was smaller or if these deadbeat teams were relocated there would still be a broadcast deal. Maybe not the same size but a deal none the less and a healthier league.

          • frontenac1 says:

            Edit. I don’t think Brad Pitt is a good analogy. This circus is more like a Fellini flick complete with freaks and midgets.

        • commandant says:

          @WJC

          And thats different from hockey in what way?

          You always have the option to spend your entertainment dollar elsewhere.

          Go Habs Go!
          Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
          http://lastwordonsports.com/

      • habsnyc says:

        They are disrespectful to the league and to the owners that employ them. They do not acknowlege that they take no financial risk for their poor performance. Iron clad multiyear contracts independent of performance are not the norm and they do not seem appreciative.

        Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

  25. Phil C says:

    Things I don’t get in this negotiation:

    – Why does the NHL want to defer the make-whole payments? This seems unnecessarily complicated. Can’t they afford to pay them in the same year? This deal has to be dumbed down to the level that a typical player with a high school education and multiple head injuries can understand. Never go below $1.883B in any year, that’s it, no “make whole” BS.

    – Why would the NHLPA want a fixed salary cap in the first few years instead of a percentage? A percentage allows them to participate in the upside as well. They agreed to a linked system last time, and later in this deal, so WTF?

    – The NHL wants to decrease the entry level deal by a year and increase free agency age by a year to increase the duration of the second contract, that I get. Why would the NHLPA fight them on shortening the entry level deal? Isn’t that better for the players to get on a second contract sooner?

    – The NHL wants a 5 year contract limit. Are they sure? A player like Crosby and Chara could have three free agent frenzies in their career instead of one. How is that good for the owners? Every time a contract expires, the cash pool gets bigger for all the other players, so do they really want to fight this one? They should just limit contracts that take players beyond 35 years old, get rid of contracts like Luongo’s. Locking up a player like Crosby long term is good for the owners because it’s the stars that fill the seats. I would cringe at my stars hitting the market every 5 years if I was an owner.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Some good questions Phil, I don’t know enough about accouting to answer Questions 1 or 2. I believe the reason the NHL wants the first contract to end 1 year sooner, is the player will have less track record to justify a huge raise. In fact many players are in the AHL for the first 1-2 years, so essentially the player would receive a minimum raise on the 2nd contract.

      Really agree with you on the 5 year limit, when you get your franchise player, I am not sure disallowing a 6 year contract makes sense. I do think some term limit should be put in place, perhaps 8 years or 7 years. Also agree with the 35 year age limit clause you mention.

      Reality is, Bettman is trying to find ways to close loopholes which his owners are only too eager to find as soon as a deal is completed. They can’t seem to be honest with each other when it comes to tabling a CBA.

    • commandant says:

      1) Why do people Deferred Money? People want to buy things on credit when the interest rate is low, and 3% is pretty low.

      2) They don’t want to go to 50/50 immediately and put escrow through the roof. The want a downside guarantee for those years so that the switch from 57 to 50 doesn’t result in a 12% paycut.

      3) The key here is the reduced arbitration… which means the owners can really stick it to a player on those second/third contracts, and that we can have long holdouts waiting for guys to sign.

      4) I agree. They should just put in the 5% variance per year and be done with it.

      Go Habs Go!
      Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
      http://lastwordonsports.com/

      • Kooch7800 says:

        Thanks for clarifying. It is nice having a lawyer around to explain it to us simple folks LOL

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • wjc says:

        With cash you pay 0 interest.

        Reduced arbitration is not a deal breaker, but merely in my opinion a bargaining chip.

        wjc

        • commandant says:

          If the interest you earn on your investment (ie the 5% growth the NHL assumes) is greater than the interest on your debt (3% in this case). You just made money.

          Go Habs Go!
          Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
          http://lastwordonsports.com/

          • wjc says:

            5% is good return, are you saying borrow money at 3% and reinvest at 5%. If you have money coming in say $700,000.00 and you defer $500,000.00 of it at a proposed 5% you could be taxed on the remaining $200,000.00. If you were smart and lived within your means you could pay cash for all your needs.

            With the exception of real estate debt should be avoided.

            leveraging could come back to ruin you if you are not careful.
            How many people have $1,500,000.00 after a couple of years, plus interest.

            You could draw off that 1,500,000.00 dollars the rest of your life if you decided to. If with interest it became $2,000.000.00 and it compounded anually you could live off the interest and leave the principle alone.
            wjc

          • HammerHab says:

            “If you have money coming in say $700,000.00 and you defer $500,000.00 of it at a proposed 5% you could be taxed on the remaining $200,000.00.”

            You don’t pay taxes on capital gains as long as you re-invest that money which these business owners are smart enough to do.

            Employees – work – get taxed – get paid whats left
            Business owners – work – get paid – get taxed on whats left

            Smart business owners find ways to have very little left to get taxed on.

            ———————————–

            It’ll always be Habs Inside/Out to me

      • Phil C says:

        1) Right now the league is offering make whole at around $220M plus a nominal interest. If they make 5% net return on deferring the money, they make $11M, split 30 ways. Seems like a trivial amount of money in exchange for making the $22B dollar deal more difficult to understand.

        3) That makes more sense, thanks. The potential for holdouts is bad news for owners though, arbitration is tidier in that regard.

      • 69HABS says:

        Prime is @ 3%. Not the actual rates!

    • Ian Cobb says:

      Some well made points Phil.
      But there are so many other variables that I don’t even now about, I think we just have to wait until it all filters through both sides give and take. I think the owners are in a better position to take than the players though.!

    • twilighthours says:

      I like your thinly veiled shot at the intelligence of hockey players

  26. Ian Cobb says:

    Cal and Mike, Fehr did not come out of retirement to lose. But lose he will, as the owners are firm on how they will operate long term.
    I called that this whole season would be lost trying to get an agreement. Unless the players cave in big time, it will take until next year I’m afraid.

    • Cal says:

      *sigh* I’m thinking you are right on this, Ian. There’s no better sport to watch and the suits are ruining it. Again!

      • wjc says:

        Cal, the suits are the only reason you have hockey to watch. The NHL has always been owned and operated by the wealthy (suits). Nothing is being ruined, you need to take a deep breath and relax.

        This should all be settled in a few days, it is coming to a predictable head. Everybody wants there cash cow, flowing again.

        wjc

        • Cal says:

          I don’t usually reply to “all-knowing” trolls, but what the hell.
          There. Enough said.

          • wjc says:

            Face it Cal, you are not good at debating, you are excellent a name calling though.

            wjc

          • Cal says:

            @wjc and your 5 other aliases-

            You aren’t debating anything. You are attempting to tell us what will happen in the lockout negotiations without being there.

        • Kooch7800 says:

          really? You would pay to watch suits play hockey? At 300 dollars per ticket? Everything is a business. If you don’t have product you don’t have a business.

          “Keep your stick on the Ice”

          • wjc says:

            Geez, did I say that? The “teams” are owned by the owners. The players on the team are owned by the owners.

            You and other fans “pay” money to the owners. The owners pay the players. He has a manager who recruits talent to play on the team you watch.

            Players come and go retire, get hurt but the team continues.

            Cal, they do have a product…..they own the product it is the team.

            The players own nothing, they play, it is what they do. Spacek, Gretzky, Howe, Beliveau, Lafluer they all retire, the Montreal Canadiens continue.

            I wouldn’t watch anyone play for $300.00 a ticket or even half of that.
            wjc

          • Kooch7800 says:

            They own the logo’s and the arena’s and the players work for them. If you don’t have the talented players the league struggles and pricing drops just like when you make poor quality items. People wise up. The owners need the players or what they have is worthless.

            I am not saying the players are not overpaid cause they are but the owners are the reason for it. I don’t fee bad for the owners at all. You make your bed you sleep in it

    • wjc says:

      Ian, when this is signed,sealed and delivered both sides will claim victory. The spin doctors will confuse the fans, the media will all have a different take on it. The fans will argue amongst themselves.

      When the dust settles everyone will be debating the latest hit or the evils of Boston and Philadelphia and of course laughing at the Leafs.

      The hockey on the ice will distract them and time will heal all. Fehr will go back into retirement and probably act as a consultant.

      wjc

  27. Psycho29 says:

    Reply to Mr.Biter from the previous thread concerning Louis Sleigher’s sucker punch on Jean Hamel in 1984 and if anyone went after him after that game:

    That ended Hamel’s career…Orbital socket and eye injury.

    A year or two after when Sleigher was a Bruin Larry Robinson went after him a couple of times, the second one when Sleigher ran Patrick Roy:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szEplSTKEh0

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YflJBTQF_pM

  28. JF says:

    I absolutely cannot understand why, if the two sides want to reach an agreement, which seems to be the case, they can’t do so. The PA has agreed to a 50/50 split and the league has agreed to improve revenue sharing. These are the main economic issues; the rest is little more than spare change and won’t affect the long-term health of the league. As for the contractual issues, the only one that should really concern the league is the issue of front-loaded contracts; and that’s something that does not affect most players, since only a few guys would be in line for that type of contract. The rest – length of entry level contracts, years to free agency, etc. – are things that, as one owner said, he wouldn’t lose a period of hockey over. So why can’t they agree? Are they really prepared to lose a season over what, in total league revenues, amounts to a drop in the bucket? It is almost inconceivable…. but it is on the verge of happening.

    • Cal says:

      Fehr is trying to prove to the players that he can “win” the negotiations. The players will be the biggest losers if the season goes away. Habs fans will rejoice over 1 year of Gomez’ contract gone and only 1 to go. Other than that, there are no silver linings. Again, we are cheated out of a hockey season.

    • Dust says:

      I don’t think the PA has agreed to a 50/50 split. they say that but it is really just smoke and mirrors. The PA proposed that they get a fix number $1.9Billion and for that number to go up a small percentage. They say it goes to 50/50 in three years is based on them assuming revenue will continue to go up the way it has in the past.(i think 7%) With their salary number going up at a smaller percentage they think they will be at 50/50 in 5 years. So the 50/50 is based on money that may o may not exist. that is why the nhl says they are far apart on economics. The nhl wants the pa to get a percentage based on actual revenue.

      • wjc says:

        Smoke and mirrors…..shame on them.

        Remember the word “proposed”….ideally that is what they wish for. When you “propose” to a hot babe, and she laughs at you…get the picture.

        So all these numbers you quote are they real, or are they smoke and mirrors…..in negotiations the first casualty is the truth.

        wjc

    • wjc says:

      JF: You are saying two separate things. If revenue sharing goes down, so does the players split of revenue sharing.

      They have technically agreed to 50/50, the question is when does it click in right away or gradually over a few years. That is a stumbling block. Also making the players whole. As this goes on the players get further behind and therefore harder to make them financially whole.

      Now that the old CBA is off the table, everything becomes negotiable. Everything is a bargaining chip. You want this then give us that, we will give you this but we need that etc. etc.

      Try to think of if this way, they both have a line in the sand.
      Neither no where the others line is.
      That line will not be crossed.
      So it becomes how close do you come to your own line. If you move closer to your line and they don’t move, then what have you accomplished.

      Now Bettman made a brilliant move. He basically said, “hey this is going nowhere we have moved closer to our invisible line and you are standing still.” So he said ” I am indifferent to what you do, lets take two weeks off and forget this for a while.”

      The players then start to panic, because that becomes two more pay days missed. Some spoke publically and raged at Bettman. If they raged at Fehr, they would be strung up from the rafters of some arena. Some raged behind the scenes, thus, Fehr calls for more meetings.

      NHL says “never mind you scraps of papers with half assed idea’s put out a real proposal and let us know how close you are coming to your line in the sand.

      Snyder, gets acccused. Snyder denies. Sources this, and sources that is not proof. Like a recording, tweet, e-mail. witnesses that is proof…but Just sources…..pffft.

      The deal has to be done soon, the posturing is over. Fehr has to come to the table with a well thought out proposal to work off of. If it cannot be done the next day or two will tell the tale.

      The players and the owners want the cash flow to continue as before. The owners just need a fairer deal and the players need a fair deal.

      Now when the season starts all will be forgiven, I will tell you why.

      The players if questioned will say “we left if up to our leadership, and we did not strike we were locked out.”

      The managers will tell the media, “We got caught in the middle as well”

      Owners will be mostly quiet but everyone will say Molson was the good guy.

      Philadelphia will say Jacobs was the bad guy and Boston will say Snyder was the bad guy and everyone will say Bettman was the bad guy and he is not in town right now. He and Fehr will be vacationing together with their families.

      The Montreal fans will be confused as to who to hate and decide that their team was innocent anyways and it had to be Jacobs and Snyder. Everyone will then live happily ever after.

      wjc

      • JF says:

        I’m saying revenue sharing goes up, not down, which is what the players want. The league has agreed to that, although admittedly not to the level the players demanded.

        As for the 50/50 split, my point is that whether it goes into effect immediately or gradually over the course of the next two or three years will not affect the long-term financial health of the league. From the league’s point of view, the amount of money at stake to cover contracts while the 50/50 split is being reached is not large. If they were prepared initially to lose a season to get to 50/50, now that they’ve got it in principle, they should not be ready to sacrifice the season for the sake of the “make whole” money. That is a temporary issue that will go away in a few years.

  29. Sean Bonjovi says:

    When was the last time anyone heard from Un Canadien Errant?

  30. JF says:

    Renaud Lavoie has appeared to know what’s going on throughout this process and to have a good idea of where it’s heading. Even last week, with no talks happening and a lot of negativity in the air, he thought we were not far from a deal. But this morning, for the first time since the lockout started, he raises the possibility of the season being cancelled:

    http://legrandclub.rds.ca/profils/608456/posts/150765/public

    • Bripro says:

      You’re right on in your assessment of Renaud. He’s very articulate, and writes without the emotion that creates bias. His reports are always fresh with perspective and real information.
      If he says that the season is on the brink, then he’s probably bang on. I find it interesting however that he claims that Fehr is the best union negotiator professional sport has ever seen.
      After having brought down an entire baseball season which catalyzed the dismantling of the Expos, I wouldn’t give him as much credit.

      *********************************************
      “I’m here to tell you: Gary Bettman hasn’t felt this alive since he killed Harry Potter’s parents.”

  31. Phil C says:

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=409837

    So it’s the 20th of Nov, and the league has to beg the NHLPA to give them a comprehensive offer? What have they been waiting for?
    FFS, it’s like watching children fight over a toy.

    • Cal says:

      Fehr’s rope-adope will have a “lost season” effect. This isn’t the MLB he’s dealing with. they are actually serious about the adjustments they want/need to make.
      Players like Versteeg calling Daly and Bettman “cancers” are so ignorant of the real world it astounds me.

      • Phil C says:

        Yeah, I don’t like the childish name-calling either. Fehr is being difficult, but the NHL was unreasonable trying to tip the table in their direction on every single issue, without any give-and-take. I don’t think any NHLPA director would have accepted that without a fight, yet alone Fehr.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        It appears to still be an ego battle between Fehr and Bettman. Bettman feels he can bully his way with the NHLPA as has been done in the past and Fehr thinks he can outsmart Bettman with his negotiating skills.

        Unfortunately, seems this is more about idealogies of negotiating than actually negotiating. Both parties need their leaders to hit the refresh button, perhaps even a complete reboot!

        I still maintain a person like Paul Kelly would have been working on the negotiations for the past full season as he was interested in maintaining a relationship with the owners as opposed to an adversarial approach. Too bad, but I am almost without hope of an NHL season, and then it will get worse when it is announced that the draft lottery occurs with Maple Leafs having the first overall pick and Montreal will pick somwhere in the 20’s……sigh

      • Kooch7800 says:

        I agree Cal that the players shouldn’t be saying things in the media. I also wouldn’t believe too much of what either side is saying to the media as they are using it as a negotiation tool.

        I personally blame both sides. The owners are the reason why they are in this mess that they are in with the contracts they are pushing out and the entire argument is over the bottom revenue teams….that isn’t the players fault either. The players have no say where the league puts teams. BUT the players are grossly overpaid for what they do and would never go for team retraction as that would be loss of jobs even though if they wanted a healthy league a 5 team retraction is exactly what is needed .

        Either way the fans are getting screwed because these two sides will not negotiate with each other properly. They want to try and strong arm each other into an agreement

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • Cal says:

      Here’s a typical Don Fehr quote from that article:
      “We will be in touch with them in the morning,” union executive director Donald Fehr said on a chilly Manhattan sidewalk Monday night. “It’s certainly a good possibility of it. I would say it’s more likely than not.”

      And we wonder why there’s no progress? The guy doesn’t know what he’ll be doing today, ffs. Beavis at his best.

    • Bripro says:

      Fehr: We will probably be talking to them in the morning.
      Daly: It’s an important process.

      Really guys? Is that why you all waited until July to start “negotiating”?
      Is that why you take days off, then start negotiations at 7 at night?
      Important huh? Wow, with this level of urgency, we should pick an ambassador from each side and send them to Haiti or the Dominican Republic to get these ravaged countries back up and running. After all, these guys know how to push that sense of urgency.
      Pathetic!

      *********************************************
      “I’m here to tell you: Gary Bettman hasn’t felt this alive since he killed Harry Potter’s parents.”

  32. HabinBurlington says:

    John Gibbins Manager of the Jays again? Hargrove would have been better choice IMO, in fact even Ozzie Guillen would have been better choice. It’s not like Gibbons went on to more success elsewhere, since his departure.

    I can only imagine how his relationship with Brett Lawrie will go, Shea Hillenbrand part 2 I fear.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Good morning Burly. I kind of liked Gibbons in his first tour. A good baseball guy. Ozzie would have been a huge mistake. He’s a loose cannon who would have made a circus of your baseball season. Hargrove? I would have given the nod to Gibbons.

      ———————————–

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Morning Jim, i guess you have some knowledge of Gibby as he spent some time in the Mets organization as I recall. All I know is that on his last tour of duty here there was quite a bit of infighting in the clubhouse between him and some players. I also really questioned how he handled his pitchers. Hopefully he has learned some things in the meantime, he is a lifelong baseball guy.

        I will have to accept the decision. I was half joking about Guillen, I do recognize the carnival atmosphere he brings. He did win a championship though, and he would take pressure off the players as the media would be completely focused on him.

        I always thought Hargrove did a pretty good job in Cleveland.

    • ed lopaz says:

      Burly, you seem like such a reasonable and positive Habs fan, but when it comes to the Jays your posts are so skeptical and negative.

      Sorry to be so blunt this early in the AM.

      First there were several negative posts about the GM and ownership. Then cynical posts about why the trade might not go through . And now this.

      Your “fears” are not really warranted either.

      Just saying.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Ed, I don’t deny any of that. I have lived in Ontario for 18 years now and for those 18 years I have become a Jays fan. I feel as though I know what it is like to be a Leafs Fan. I am particularly frustrated since Rogers took over the ownership of the Jays. They used this franchise as cable filler only and have been terrible stewards of this team.

        I think AA has a very good eye as a scout and has talent. I believe he was rushed into being a GM in an unfair situation where he was unable to spend money. I give AA full marks for the trade with Florida, my fears of the trade not going through was based on my skepticism of Bud Selig as Commish. I am happy the trade went through, and I really hope that Reyes, Buehrle and Johnson come in here with a good attitude.

        My biggest frustration is that this team didn’t find a way to either keep Pat Gillick around or bring him back, even as a mentor. Who does AA have as a mentor within the Jays? Paul Beeston? No offense to Paul, but he is an accountant that was part of the Jays glory days, he was not involved in baseball decisions.

        John Gibbons did not do a good job as Manager, of the Jays, but he does have experience. Unfortunately the only experience was here in Toronto.

        I do feel my fears are warranted, this roster has a very heavy latino flavour and I am not sure how Gibby is going to do with them. I really hope he hires some good bench coaches to help him, because the current roster could be very effective.

        BUt there is so little experience throughout the organization from Manager on up. Just as MB is a rookie GM, he did bring in people like Dudley to help him. You also have Serge Savard involved to some extent. There is none of that in Toronto that I am aware of.

        Ed, I hope I am proven wrong. Perhaps living here in the BlueJay market place has made me this way.

        I will work on being more positive, I always respect and appreciate your comments.

        Have a good day sir.

        • Sean Bonjovi says:

          “he [Paul Beeston] is an accountant that was part of the Jays glory days”

          That makes him about 75% responsible for those two world series IMO :)

          I was an Expos fan who HATED the Blue Jays back then and I give little credit to the GM who threw money at free agents to push the those teams over the top (I was really bitter about the money part) and I give ZERO credit to Cito Gaston for “managing” those rosters

          • HabinBurlington says:

            How does Beeston get more credit than Gillick? And Gillick for years slowly built that team, had the nickname of Stand Pat even. Then when the timing was right he added some key free agents. But the core of the team was built from draft and trades.

            As for Cito, he knew how to manage the stars. He also did a decent job when he came back to the Jays, however, I think his desire was already gone along with havnig that bad back.

          • Sean Bonjovi says:

            I like to tell myself that the Blue Jays bought those two trophies, and that’s the only reason the Expos didn’t win them ; )

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      I think Gibbins is a good choice. He got a mediocre team within a winning streak of the playoff hunt a couple times but just wasn’t provided enough horsepower to get the job done. This time around he’s got some depth on is roster.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        In 2006 BlueJays spent a bunch of dough on a team for Gibby. I remember watching one of the earlier games in the season and his 3rd base coach waves Troy Glaus home on a double in which Glaus started at first. Glaus was a big horse, and was not fast, and got injured running home. That injury persisted the whole season, and he was never properly rested in order to be a factor later in season.

        JP screwed up somewhat too, paying big bucks for a closer in BJ Ryan, they got some production out of him before injuries ended that. But that roster was pretty decent in 06.

  33. habsfan0 says:

    Apparently,John Gibbons to be reintroduced as Blue Jays manager later today.

    It would have been nice to see ex-Expo Tim Wallach given an opportunity.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Agree on Wallach also, this move makes no sense to me. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if AA had Gibby ready to go a few days ago, but is only announcing today the same day trade is officially introduced.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Wallach would have been a gutsy hire for sure. Gibbons was a lot safer now with such a veteran, win now roster.

      ———————————–

  34. HabinBurlington says:

    So the Ti-Cats have found a place to play next year, at Guelph University. Still don’t understand why they couldn’t find a way to play to McMaster, seems strange.

    • HammerHab says:

      I think that was Mac’s decision not to have the TiCats play there …. I didn’t think they’d be able to make Guelph work but I’m glad they diodn’t go down east….yikes

      ———————————–

      It’ll always be Habs Inside/Out to me

  35. Cal says:

    This one’s for Neil Young, who performed at the ACC last night.

    http://calsnhllockout2012songparodies.weebly.com/

  36. Da Hema says:

    Rene Bourque scores two goals in the third period to lead the Canadiens to victory? This is indeed fantasy hockey!

  37. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …mumble mumble :(
    …I think the grand total of 11 comments quietly speaks for itself about Hickey’s Midnight Fantasies

  38. dougekenzie says:

    So I was looking through my old hockey cards tonight and I found an Alexander Galchenyuk Sr. Dynamo Moscow hockey card!! Is there anyway to post a picture on here so everyone can see it?

  39. ProHabs says:

    All the owners need to do is say they are going to eliminate guaranteed contracts a la NFL. Then you will see the players hurrying back for a deal. It is a farce that some of these players are making the money they are and producing what they are (Gomez).

  40. Cal says:

    Two more wasted hours with “big names” showing up at the meet and greet. What a bunch of knobs.

  41. Bim says:

    Here’s one for you! The NHL should declare bankruptcy! This would make all current contracts null and void..problem solved. Open up again under let’s say the NAHL (North American Hockey League) for lack of a name. Offer reasonable contracts to the players. It would give the owners their “make whole” request by not rewarding non performers like…you know who and rewarding those who are deserving. Game on! Everyone is happy. There is hockey to watch and the players can get back to earning a salary they need to support their families. Come on guys this isn’t rocket science. Let’s get it done now!

  42. HabinBurlington says:

    We take this break from CBA talks to update Ricardo Montabaln and his latest episode of Fantasy Island. In today’s episode guest stars include Brian Burke strangling Kris Versteeg with his tie.


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