CBA talks turn sour

Bettman

This was pretty much inevitable, but the differences between the NHL owners and the players in their negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement got its clearest articulation in the remarks by both Gary Bettman and Don Fehr following Thursday’s talks in New York.

In that session, the players presented their objections to the owners’ proposed system of revenue sharing.

Asked how far apart the sides are, Fehr responded, “There’s a meaningful gulf there.”

Bettman said, “We obviously have a wide gap to bridge on a whole host of issues.”

With both sides acknowledging after the two-hour meeting that they are looking at the next CBA in very different terms, the chances of the season beginning as scheduled in October seems dimmer now than at any time since discussions began last month.

And while Fehr has said on numerous occasions, and again on Thursday, that there’s nothing legally preventing the players from going to training camp and starting the season without a contract, and “if there is a lockout, someone has to choose to do that,” Bettman’s remarks seemed to lean toward making that choice.

“I re-confirmed something that the union has been told multiple times over the last nine to 12 months,” Bettman told reporters. “Namely, that time is getting short and the owners are not prepared to operate under this collective bargaining agreement for another season, so we need to get to making a deal and doing it soon. And we believe there’s ample time for the parties to get together and make a deal and that’s what we’re going to be working towards.”

Asked if Sept. 15 is a hard deadline, Bettman responded, “Our efforts are going to be devoted to trying to make a deal.” He then reiterated that owners have no desire to operate under the current CBA.

But NHL spokesman Frank Brown said in an e-mail to Eben Novy-Williams of Bloomberg News that it was “not wrong” to interpret Bettman’s remarks as implying the NHL would lock out its players without a new deal. Brown stressed, however, that Bettman never referred directly to a lockout in his remarks. But the implication was clear.

(In The Gazette, Pat Hickey writes that Bettman’s legacy as commissioner could likely be one of work stoppages.)

In the talks Thursday, the NHLPA made a presentation directly related to the owners’ proposed revenue sharing system which the NHL linked to their proposed new salary cap that would cut the player’s share of revenue from the current 57 percent of revenues to somewhere between 46 percent and 42 percent. As Fehr said, “It didn’t look to us like (the owner’s suggested form of revenue sharing) was the way to go.”

Their primary objection? After examining league’s proposal, the PA determined the money the league planned to distribute to the less-wealthy clubs would, in practical terms, not be funded by the wealthy clubs but from the money derived via cutting players salaries. “The most important thing from our standpoint is that, essentially, all the revenue sharing payments made by individual teams they get back, and then some, in reduced player salary,” Fehr said.

“We’re not close on that issue (revenue sharing),” Bettman agreed, “and frankly revenue sharing is part of the bigger economic picture.” From the owners’ point of view, that bigger picture focuses on salary reduction. “The fundamental proposal, our initial proposal, is that we need to be paying out less in player costs,” Bettman said. Lowering players salaries make up, in Bettman’s words, “the fundamental economics” of the owners’ position.

So the two sides differ philosophically on how to solve the league’s purported economic problems, a league that has experienced record revenue growth in the past seven years.

And this all comes before the NHLPA has even presented their counter-proposal to the NHL’s proposal, one in which revenue sharing will doubtless be a central component. Fehr said that presentation will come next Tuesday in Toronto.

821 Comments

  1. EasternOntarioHabsFan says:

    Alright boys and girls, here’s an out of left field suggestion: Vinny Propsal.

    I know he’s 37, but he scored 55 points last year on an unspeakably bad Colombus team and is still a top six forward, a big LW nonetheless, just what we need.

    At his age and with the state of the Blue Jackets he would come cheap, and the best part: only one year left on his contract.

    he would add depth to the top six, bring scoring punch, and would only be a fill-in for the next year.

    what’s not to like?

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      I would be surprised if the Habs tried to find another Top 6 forward or big shutdown D man before signing Subban what with Philly hurting for D men, and being willing to go the offer sheet route.

    • JayK-47 says:

      I don’t know that the CBJ’s would be a good partner. They’re looking pretty decent on defense where the Habs are stacked in numbers, if not strength. To give up a young forward prospect or draft pick would be a move backwards to that 1994-2011 period of mediocrity. I’d say pass for now, wait till the season starts to deal from strength to a team in need of D.

    • JUST ME says:

      Have to totally disagree with this idea. Time is for youngsters with the habs not for veterans like Prospal or Doan. They will not make any difference next season as we will be in a transition year. Spending the last years of deals that have been heavy for the habs and giving time for the youngsters to reach the point when they will be ready to play with men.

      Yes there are reasons to be optimistic cause it cannot be worse than last season but let`s be realistic here. For once we have a chance to look forward with promising youngsters but until then, let`s not kid ourselves and waste money….

      • EasternOntarioHabsFan says:

        it’s only a one year fill in untill the next generation can step up

        • SmartDog says:

          For a year I think it’s a good idea. Make it so.

          ————————————-
          Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

        • Mark C says:

          Yeah, but you have to give up something to get him. Lesser players cost 2nd round picks at the deadline. Is it really worth giving up that type of asset for an old stopgap player?

          • SmartDog says:

            Good point. The era of throwing away 2nd round picks is hopefully over.

            But the Jackets lack depth – something we have in spades on D. Even our 5-7th level prospects stand a decent chance of being NHL players, though not with us. Dietz, Nash, Pateryn, or even Weber are all likely expendable.

            ————————————-
            Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

          • Cal says:

            How about Diaz and Weber for him? Real tired of seeing weakling D on the Habs.

  2. jedimyrmidon says:

    So Philly has lost yet another defenseman to injury (Liles). So far, that’s Pronger, Carle, Liles and Meszaros.

    Everyone knows they have depth on offense, but some posters at NHL.com are saying that their defense can withstand losing those four guys with guys like Gustafsson stepping up. Somehow I’m not so sure…

  3. EasternOntarioHabsFan says:

    woah, closing ceremonies galore!

    • SmartDog says:

      I started watching…. but… yaaaaawwwwnnnnn. Hey, another Beatles song. With dancers! Wow. Horrible, just horrible.

      I PVR’d it though so I could see Sinclair carry the flag. How far in does that happen?

      ————————————-
      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  4. HabinBurlington says:

    Rory McIlroy! WOW, what a pleasure to watch this kid. Way to go kid!!!

    • Habfan10912 says:

      He reminded me of Ben Crenshaw on the greens. Unbelievable.

      ———————————–

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Isn’t he just completely likeable as well? One of my best friends wife is from the same township in Ireland and everything she hears from family at home is that Rory is genuine!

        • 24 Cups says:

          You might want to ask Chubby Chandler about that point.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            That was a bit of a shock, but given how young he was when signing with Chandler in the first place, I think he is entitled to make a choice on agents now that he is 23 years old. Also perhaps his girlfriend was of some influence.

            In watching his press conference yesterday, he still strikes me as honest in how he answers questions.

  5. HabFab says:

    @HiB – apparently the NHL proposal has increased revenue sharing. It involves the players giving back 11-14% of the revenue share ($360-450 ml) and this money being evenly distributed to all teams to raise Revenues per team ($12-15 ml). The rich teams get richer while the small market teams have a chance to break even or make a small profit. So this would be 100% player funded.
    Would you agree as a player to this?
    http://www.forbes.com/nhl-valuations/list/
    This would make every team profitable except for Phoenix and possibly Columbus.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Pretty wild indeed, tell me again why the NHLPA got rid of Ted Saskin? The guy got the players what in hindsight was an excellent deal (he may have had foresight) and he was far from adversarial.

      If I am a player, I only rollback equal to what owners rollback by way of revenue sharing. But even that I am not in favour of.

  6. HabinBurlington says:

    So the NHL teams are all franchises. Does this mean that a Tim Hortons franchise in one location should be subsidized by a franchise in another location if indeed other franchises are making more money?

    I hold no ill will towards the players, but I have a problem with the perceived revenue sharing notion I see talked about from media outlets or even posters here. NFL and MLB have incredibly large TV contracts which bring in tremendous revenues to all teams in their respective leagues. In addition to that teams in MLB have the opportunity for their Local TV rights, ie. the Yankees. This allows them the opportunity for revenue sharing to be an easier pill to swallow.

    The Habs, Leafs, Rangers, Flyers are wealthy teams in a league which is still a gate driven league. So because these teams draw far more fans in their barns they are supposed to share more? In fact don’t these same teams also help other teams in the league draw more fans for their home games? Imagine those Tampa and Florida games around Christmas if they were playing Nashville instead of the Habs, how many fans would be there?

    My point is just that I think Bettman got the wealthy owners to accept a salary cap in order to help the weaker franchises. It evidently hasn’t helped them enough, and the wealthy franchises have told Gary, We gave in last time so we aren’t giving again.

    I have this weird feeling that this CBA is going to make or break Bettman. He can’t go back to the wealthy teams again and ask for more, so Gary is going after the players. I don’t think Bettman realizes how tough battling Fehr will be.

    I am not picking a side, but Bettman had the union defeated last go around and the plan he presented to the owners hasn’t achieved what he told the owners it would. Yes revenues have gone up, but primarily because of wealthy teams, Cdn Dollar etc..

    If having an extended work stoppage leads to Bettman no longer leading the charge I can accept this. This Commissioner has played a Bob Barker shell game for years with the various owners where he gives one owner something but asks for other things in return. He has done this with many owners, and perhaps Rumpel Stiltskin has finally been found out, and Donald Fehr may end up being the one who exposes it.

    But end of day, I don’t understand why the successful teams like Habs, Leafs, Rangers, Flyers, Wings should have to subsidize teams more than they already do.

    I wish there was hockey, but I almost wish more, that we get a Commissioner who cares about Hockey first and then the owners and players.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      As well thought out of any post I’ve seen related to this matter. We are probably dreaming about a new commissionercaring more about the game though. It is about the money and the commissioner being hired by the owners will represent their interest. That being said, Bettman has shown a lack of interest in maintaining integrity in the game ie Daddy as head of discipline especially after his Email was made public. If we have to sacrifice parts of a season to rid ourselves of this guy I suppose its a good tradeoff. But the Summit? That might be asking too much. :)
      ———————————–

    • Sean Bonjovi says:

      “So the NHL teams are all franchises. Does this mean that a Tim Hortons franchise in one location should be subsidized by a franchise in another location if indeed other franchises are making more money?”

      If a Tim Hortons franchise is losing money they don’t demand that the employees at the successful franchises take a pay cut to keep the unprofitable franchise open, they just close it.

      Tims outlets also don’t pay the same hourly wage in every part of the country.

      …and very little of Tim Hortons’ revenue is attributable to the labourers. If NHL owners could generate $3 billion in revenue without the NHLPA they’d all sell their teams in the NHL and get rich with AHL franchises.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Great point! So lets then contract Phoenix and New Jersey. But not all the teams are losing money when one considers franchise value etc… And to clarify I am not saying the NHL is right in asking for rollbacks, my point is more directed at the idea revenue sharing must be done to a higher degree. Contraction to me is a good starting point.

        Edit: New Jersey probably is not a good example for contraction, but at the least a new owner.

        • ed lopaz says:

          agree on contraction maybe 2 teams, and move 2 or 3 others to Quebec, Markham and maybe Seattle.

          that changes the financials of 5 franchises.

          no need to roll back salaries but we would eliminate 50 jobs.

          I’ll duck for cover now.

          • HabFab says:

            Neither side would agree to that fan friendly move :)

          • Sean Bonjovi says:

            Here’s the best part. One impediment to moving the Coyotes is the penalty the new owners would need to pay for breaking the lease in Glendale. If the team just filed for bankruptcy protection (again) the could just liquidate what little they have of value and fold the team leaving Glenda, AZ with a worthless claim against a dead business entity.

        • Sean Bonjovi says:

          Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think we agree that the concession the NHLPA should have to make is Jobs not individual salaries.

          The Coyotes have about 3% of the league’s players’ making about 3% of the total salaries, but the franchise only generates less than 2% of the league’s revenue.

          I don’t think the solution is for Rangers players to get payed at a level that would make the Phoenix Coyotes profitable, and I don’t think the New York Rangers should share enough revenue with Phoenix for that team to pay its players the same as Rangers players. I think the obvious solution is to shut down the money losing franchise in Phoenix, then do the same with all the other franchises that can compete or can’t be moved.

        • Sean Bonjovi says:

          double

    • Ron says:

      Excellant post Gerald, well thought out. I think alot on this site agree with your thoughts. I do not want to see a work stoppage and hope something can be worked out. If no then I agree its time to expose Bettman for the pompous ass he is. Bring a couple of shit teams north into say Quebec City and southern Ontario.The fan base there would make them a success.

    • ed lopaz says:

      there is very little respect on this site for the 500 million the owners are asked to shell out.

      as long as the players make 1, 2, 5, 10 million a year, nothing else matters.

      there are 30 people (groups) in the world who own NHL teams, and the league would be hard pressed to find even 5 others at this point who had the money, the qualifications, and the desire to own teams.

      of those 30 owners, some are dirt bags and some are very honourable and very supportive of the players and the fans.

      to argue that this problem is entirely one sided, that the owners are exclusively to “blame”, is simply incorrect, ideologically based politics.

      but what do I know?

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I am not blaming the owners per se Ed, I am saying Bettman has hoodwinked many of these owners. I am not good at writing long detailed theories, I probably have not crafted as good an explanation to what I am thinking. Hope to meet you at the Summit (provided it happens) would love to just sit and chat about this for a few hourse when our points of views and thoughts can be clearly fleshed out. Cheers Ed!

        • ed lopaz says:

          I might make it for the drinks after the game – problem is I don’t drink!

          But I would like to meet up with you and several others on this site.

    • Bripro says:

      Great post, Gerry.
      The problems seem to run deeper this time around.
      The owners are fractured. Some pay out ludicrous salaries, overpaying to meet a league-imposed floor.
      Players’ agents see the idiotic salaries and say “why can’t my guy collect the same?”.
      Hence the ripple and subsequent exponential escalation of salaries.
      I agree totally on your perspective or rollbacks in salaries, but as long as most owners care for themselves, the fans will be the ones to suffer. Certainly not the players, or at least the most talented players.
      As I posted friday night, the NHL is a shadow of its former self, and as long as the little Hitler is in charge, and not an individual who truly believes in the sport and its cause, we’ll be facing work-stoppages at every CBA negotiation.

  7. frozengolf says:

    test

    _________________________________________________________
    “We know that hockey is where we live, where we can best meet and overcome pain and wrong and death. Life is just a place where we spend time between games.”

  8. Habilis says:

    So the Olympics are over (wow we blow at summer sports, but Sinclair is awesome-sauce) which means there’s nothing to distract me from noticing that the NHL is heading down the proverbial creek sans a paddle. Disapointing is the only word I can think of to describe the situation.

    Maybe it’s just me but I truly believe that these guys should be going at it for 12,14 hours a day at this point. These 4 hour sessions a few times a week are obviously not getting the job done. Yes I know that almost every CBA negotiation goes down to the wire but most CBAs don’t have to take into account millions of fans who literally line up to fork over money. The fact that these guys seem to be willing to lose games, even if it’s only 10-20 games, is really disheartening to me.

    God help me, I might have to find a fantasy football league to keep my sports brain occupied. Stupid Bettman and Fehr.

  9. mrhabby says:

    Congrats to the Brits for putting on an excellent games. Say what you want about the Olympics…over hyped, costly,commercialized but there are very few events that drag people away from the dinner table, make you get up early than the Olympics. I’ve been to London 2 times an unreal city and gorgeous country.

  10. Strummer says:

    Ray Davies- Waterloo Sunset ++++
    ______________________________________________________
    “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

  11. Strummer says:

    Closing ceremonies-

    Madness- Awesome!

    Snippet of Blur +

    Pet shop boys –

    Some godawful boy band-Kill me Now

    ______________________________________________________
    “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

    • Lawrencetown Liquor Pigs says:

      Kill me Now isn’t a very good boy band name, but pretty apt none the less.

      ______________________________________________________
      Lost a bottle of Kraken during this debacle of a season. Better gettem next year.

  12. Boomer says:

    Hey Comm, I was having a conversation with my buddy who’s a canes fan, and I was wondering who you would rather have in you teams system, Beaulieu or Ryan Murphy (forget about the concussion, hypothetical).
    Cheers.

    Occupation: Professional Hedonist… aiming low and exceeding expectations ;)
    Hobo with a laptop

    • commandant says:

      Thats a tough, tough choice. I’d have to go with Murphy though. He seems to have a little more upside.

      Whether he reaches it or not, remains to be seen. And the folks at Hockey Canada have preferred Beaulieu when given the choice between the two in the past.

      Its not a huge gap though, thats for sure and hasn’t changed much from my 2011 Draft list (unpublished cause I wasn’t running the site then).. but at that point I had Murphy 8, Beaulieu 9.

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

  13. Bripro says:

    Be it ever so humble, there is no place like home.
    Or my home desktop…blogging on HIO.

    I have to say though, I’ve opened up to …. zzzzzzzzz.

    When one post is replied up to 12 hours later, you know there’s not much going on.
    So the Habs are looking for another top 6 forward, Subban remains un-signed, Canada fared as it always has at the Olympics, i.e. Still…”going for gold”.

    But having gone through withdrawals for two weeks, it’s refreshing just to log on and say “Glad to be back”.

    The negative? Work starts tomorrow. At least we’re closer to the new NHL season (I hope).

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Glad you made it home safe, trust the holiday was good to you and family.

      And yah not much new to talk about these days.

      • Bripro says:

        Thanks for the good wishes Gerry.
        They were wonderful.
        I don’t know if you’re aware of the history and demographic of Provincetown, but I can tell you, we had a blast.
        My wife and met some very strange people, and spent time with our good friends and neighbours who have a camp down there.
        We brought our trailer and veged on the beach for two weeks.
        Ate like pigs, spent as much, travelled the dunes, watched the whales.
        I couldn’t go scuba diving because of the rampant shark alerts.
        But next year perhaps.
        And I have to say, sundown on the beaches of Cape Cod is spectacular.
        Great time for sure.
        And yourself? I hope you’re enjoying your summer, and I’m very much looking forward to our cheering our habs at the summit.
        I’m a little disgusted with Subban and his agent though (and the owners, although that’s a given).
        It’s after 5, and I’m still in holiday mode, so I’m off the open my Guiness.
        I’d have a glass of hard stuff, but my son, the B’s fan, drank it all while we were gone.
        I figure he’s depressed since Thomas won’t be back this year.
        Cheers!

        • Habfan10912 says:

          Sounds like a perfect trip, Bri. Welcome back!

          ———————————–

          • Bripro says:

            Thanks Jim.
            I hope you’re having a wonderful summer as well.
            We’ll have lots to discuss as we tank together in October.
            There is one thing though.
            Never (I mean NEVER) take the 108 North through the mountains of Vermont between Stowe and Jay Peak.
            At one point, during our 45 deg incline up the mountain, the sign reads: “painted road ends”…
            Then you have to try and pass a wide load through a twelve foot opening between two boulders the size of Mack Trucks.
            I’ve never seen my wife shake like that, and I think I’ve developed arthritis in my knuckles.

          • Habfan10912 says:

            Bri, I know that road. Its a short cut! LOL. Try doing it with my daughter driving. I still get chest pains to this day thinking of it. :)

            ———————————–

  14. commandant says:

    @HammerHab You asked about Nashville’s goalie Hellberg.

    Unfortunately, Hellberg has never played for Sweden internationally, and as such I have no viewings of him. Almost all of the foreign players I profile I get video of through WJCs, or U18s, or 5 nations, or the Hlinka, or some kind of tourney like that. I hear good things, and I hear he’s headed for Milwaukee and the AHL this year. I should know more seeing him there.

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

  15. Un Canadien errant says:

    Man, Larry Brooks eviscerates Gary Bettman’s position in this column. I was going to copy and paste a paragraph or two as a teaser, but couldn’t decide which one(s) to go with, they’re all great.

    http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/more_sports/bettman_playing_dirty_I72It2kiVeijZpbgII0lnN

    Mr. Brooks’ main thesis is that the NHL doesn’t have a player cost problem, it has a small-market revenue team problem.

    One thing that bugs me is that when the Jets, the Hartford Whalers and the Nordiques were dying in the nineties, and the Oilers were on the brink, he appeared before the media, sneering and smirking, to say that the NHL didn’t have a problem, it had “a WHA problem”. He was all snarky and condescending and didn’t lift a finger to help these franchises and expedited their transfer to Phoenix, Carolina and Colorado respectively.

    Now it’s ‘his’ franchises that are not thriving, and the tune has changed completely. Now these Bettman-creations must be kept alive, at all costs. By which he means, at the players’ cost. Whereas a lot of the issues could be solved through revenue sharing.

    We see a team like the Islanders which is seen as moribund, because of a decrepit arena, and Charles Wang’s failure to get the taxpayers of Long Island to build him a new one. Whereas he could easily fund the construction of a new arena himself, like the Molson family did, if he just cracked open that coffin he calls a wallet. If the people of New York are to build him an arena, then to buy tickets to be able to see a game in their own arena that they damn well own, why don’t they just eliminate the middle man and own the team outright, like the fans of Green Bay. Of course, Gary Bettman and his CABAL of oligarchs wouldn’t allow it. They must have free enterprise, unfettered, except when it comes to the universal draft of players, the reserve clause, a salary cap, taxpayer subsidies on stadium construction, ….

    ———————————————————————–
    This isn’t “Billionaires vs. Millionaires.” Only a willfully uninformed fool would apply that sloppy shorthand designation to this disgraceful power grab crafted by some of the wealthiest individuals and corporate entities in North America aimed against professional athletes.–Larry Brooks of the New York Post

    • ed lopaz says:

      Again UCE you blame the owners in your last paragraph and imply that somehow the owners are the reason why there is no community ownership in the NHL.

      Sorry but I have never heard the players, or their union, once mention that they support community ownership of the teams.

      If you can find me a quote from Fehr, from a previous NHLPA boss, or from any group of players supporting Community ownership, I would be very happy to retract my comment.

      For the record, I love the idea of community ownership. But you do know that in Green Bay it is a total sham, don’t you?

      http://deadspin.com/5866292/the-feel+good-scam-of-owning-the-packers

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        I’m not saying the NHLPA is for community ownership, just that sports owners rely on public funding to such a great degree that it’s a valid to ask what role do they play in the equation. If the public funds the stadium, then pays to attend games, why don’t they own the team in the first place? Why do we need Pierre-Karl Péladeau to own the Nordiques? Why don’t the good people of Québec who are building the Colisée just own the team then charge him or RDS or whoever a fee to broadcast their games?

        The Deadspin source you quote is a remarkable negative view of the Green Bay community-ownership model. First, I’ll hold up Larry Brooks as an authority over Deadspin any day. Second, the author disputes the wisdom of share ownership on the financial aspect, which no one would argue with. The fans of Green Bay aren’t buying shares to make money. They’re doing so to be part of their community and to have a sense of belonging with their team, as the author admits in the final paragraphs.

        What the fans are buying is manyfold. They are ensuring their team will remain in Green Bay and not relocate to Milwaukee or L.A. or San Antonio at the first hint of trouble. They’re preventing a robber baron of an owner from holding them hostage to such a relocation. They’re making sure that any stadium construction or renos are necessary and reasonable, and avoiding footing the bill for luxury boxes or Personal Seat Licences that another party will benefit from. They’re making sure that the revenue raised by the team will be re-invested in the team, not siphoned off by the Wirtzes or the McCourts. They’re preventing the possibility that an owner would run the team as his private fiefdom, and install his daughters as VP’s of marketing and his idiot son as the Director of Player Personnel.

        In effect, you’re buying anti-Al Davis or Art Modell or Robert Irsay or Jerry Jones or Harold Ballard or Peter Pocklington or Bruce McNall insurance. You’re buying into the concept that your local sports team that you’ve grown up with and loved will be there in the future for your kids and grandkids. You’re ensuring that an important cultural institution will be managed as such, and not as a cash cow for an immoral buccaneer of the ‘free market’.

        And that’s a pretty good investment, if you ask me.

        ———————————————————————–
        This isn’t “Billionaires vs. Millionaires.” Only a willfully uninformed fool would apply that sloppy shorthand designation to this disgraceful power grab crafted by some of the wealthiest individuals and corporate entities in North America aimed against professional athletes.–Larry Brooks of the New York Post

        http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  16. Strummer says:

    Rory McIlroy is teeing off.

    Why does he remind me of Sid Crosby?
    ______________________________________________________
    “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

  17. b_whalen13 says:

    According to “The Forth Period”, the Habs have been and are still trying to land a top six scoring threat.
    http://www.thefourthperiod.com/news/mtl120812.html

  18. The_Salted_One says:

    i would like to see a game this year (if there IS a game this year) at the bell centre, but i’ve never been able to afford it until this year. i have no clue on how to go about getting tickets, or when they go on sale. my plan is to see the habs-pens game on feb 23rd (i believe) but im really not sure what to do next. it sounds like a really dumb question, but could someone explain how to go about this?

    your friendly neighborhood Salted One

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Check the Habs Official web site fir the date individual tickets go on sale. If you get lucky thats the least expensive alternative. If that doesn’t work for you there e
      Is stub hub, craiglist and of course various ticket scalpers around the Bell Centre. Good Luck.

      ———————————–

  19. Ian Cobb says:

    VERY POSITIVE NHL, UNION MEETINGS YESTERDAY!!! LOOKS GOOD

    YOUR SUMMIT GAME & HALL OF FAME TICKETS ARE IN THE MAIL TO YOU FOLKS.

    Book your hotel rooms asap!
    No charge in the event of a lockout to the season.

    Largest group ever for our 6th annual 2012 HIO Fan Summit Oct 27th weekend.

    Summit game tickets, News, Pictures and comments
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Montreal-Canadiens-We-Are-Fans-Summit/197390760316125

  20. Habfan10912 says:

    Under the someone must be wrong and its not us department. The Hockey News 2012-2013 Yearbook list the Habs Future Watch Zone. Some names appearing are Galchenyuk, Beaulieu, Tinordi, Gallagher, Bournival, Colberg, and Thrower. Grade they give is a C.

    ———————————–

  21. habstrinifan says:

    So when can we bring up Subban’s contract again?

  22. Newf_Habster says:

    CDN Olympic Team ‏@CDNOlympicTeam

    We are proud to announce @sincy12 will be flag bearer for #London2012 Closing. Thank you for inspiring a nation. #GiveYourEverything

    Way to go, Christine! :)

  23. Habfan10912 says:

    Sinclair announced as Canada’s flag bearer for closing ceremonies.

    ———————————–

    • English is not a Crime says:

      I might have gone with Ian Millar as a lifetime achievement award, but she’s definitely the individual choice for the games, since her rightful honour was stolen away from her by a crooked referee.

      Millar’s been in 10 Olympics over 40 yrs now (72, 76, 84, 88, 92, 96, 00, 04, 08 and now 12 … 80 was a boycott year or it’d have been 11). That’s a record that I strongly believe will never be broken after he’s done setting it as it’s still being added to.

  24. pmaraw says:

    what i want to know is, why are handball and field hockey are olympic sports, but baseball and lacrosse arent?

    • Chris says:

      Because both are played in many, many countries around the world.

      North Americans are often too insular. Baseball has a bit more of an argument due to is popularity in Japan, Venezuela, the Central American countries and of course North America. Lacrosse is almost entirely a two-nation sport.

      Field hockey for women is popular world-wide. For men, it is popular in Europe and Asia. Handball is fantastically popular in European countries and is growing in north Africa.

      The biggest problem for baseball was that it was dominated by one country and I think you could argue that the sport is dying off in its own hotbed. Baseball registrations for kids are plummeting.

      • Newf_Habster says:

        It is my understanding that the IOC approved the London 2012 committee’s request to exclude softball and baseball from the Games. It sucked. Hopefully they will be back in 2016.

        I do not think lacrosse belongs to Olympics because too few countries have it.

        I cannot stand field hockey because you must shoot only right-handed which sucks.

        • Lizardking89 says:

          Also didn’t the IOC offer to include major league players in the Olympics but MLB said no because it’s right in the midst of the pennant race. After the IOC was shot down by MLB baseball disappeared from the games as did women’s softball which was a shame.

        • Chris says:

          If a sport comes back, it would be more fair to make it cricket or even golf (which I absolutely detest) because they are played by more people around the world and have a more competitive base than baseball, which would really be a gold medal for the USA every year if the IOC got its wish of professionals.

          Baseball and basketball are to the Summer Olympics what women’s hockey is to the Winter Olympics. Hockey is saved solely because the men’s side is still somewhat competitive (Sweden, Finland, Russia, Canada, USA, Czech Republic, Slovakia could all threaten), so they won’t throw out women’s hockey unless men’s hockey is right behind.

          • Lawrencetown Liquor Pigs says:

            Golf is in for 2016, (in Brazil?) I believe. Golf and Rugby if I’m not mistaken. I think I saw something about them building a Jack Nicklaus design for the Olympic Golf tournament. The Google probably has the answers. I’m too fixated on the impending doom of a 3rd lockout/strike in the NHL to do much else but rock back and forth in the corner.

            ______________________________________________________
            Lost a bottle of Kraken during this debacle of a season. Better gettem next year.

          • Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

            Chris, with all due respect, you are WAY off on your analysis of baseball’s legitimacy as an Olympic sport.

            First of all, baseball is played in North America, several Latin American countries, parts of Europe (Italy and the Netherlands are the two top European forces in baseball), Japan, Chinese Taipei, Korea, Australia (they have their own pro league), etc. This to me looks like an international sport.

            As for your point that it would be an automatic gold medal for the US if pros were able to play, that again is not true. The last two World Baseball Classics, which include MLB players, were won by Japan. The runners-up were South Korea and Cuba. The US managed a 4th-place finish in the first one in 2006. The Dominican Republic and Venezuela also finished ahead of them in both tournaments.

            Baseball should be an olympic sport.

          • Chris says:

            Jan: Give me a break.

            Here is the USA roster from the 2009 World Baseball Classic:

            Pitchers: Heath Bell, Jonathan Broxton, John Grabow, Jeremy Guthrie, Joel Hanrahan, LaTroy Hawkins, J.P. Howell, Ted Lilly, Matt Lindstrom, Roy Oswalt, Jake Peavy, J.J. Putz, Scot Shields, Matt Thornton, Brad Ziegler

            Infielders: Chris Iannetta, Brian McCann, Mark DeRosa, Derek Jeter, Chipper Jones, Evan Longoria, Dustin Pedroia, Brian Roberts, Jimmy Rollins, David Wright, Kevin Youkilis

            Outfielders: Ryan Braun, Adam Dunn, Curtis Cranderson, Shane Victorino.

            You’re telling me that the U.S. wouldn’t put together a MUCH better team than that for the Olympics given how much they value Gold medals?

            Where were:

            Albert Pujols, Alex Rodriguez, Joe Mauer, Todd Helton, Derrek Lee, Ryan Howard, Mark Teixeira, Manny Ramirez, Adrian Gonzalez, all guys who were amongst the league leaders in several categories the previous season?

            More importantly, they sent THAT pitching staff instead of one that included, say:

            Roy Halladay, Tim Lincecum, Cliff Lee, Mike Mussina, C.C. Sabathia and Brandon Webb…you know, the guys that were contending for the Cy Young awards?

            The U.S. lost those World Baseball Classics because, largely, they simply didn’t care all that much. If they cared, their best lineup (or close to it) would have been out, just as they do for the Olympics in hockey and basketball. The teams they sent were decent, but not even close to the Dream Teams they could easily assemble in baseball if it was important to them.

            Baseball is an international sport. But it isn’t as big as you make it out. Many of the players on the Netherlands team you cite are actually from Netherlands Antilles in the Caribbean. Italy’s roster at the last World Baseball Classic included 23 (of 30) players born in the United States.

            I mentioned in the post you disagreed with that baseball does have a strong presence in Eastern Asia, Central America and northern South America to go along with its base in North America. So I’m not disagreeing with you there.

            I just think it is very, very low on the radar of sports in terms of worldwide influence. My point was that baseball is probably behind golf and rugby (which are apparently both being added in 2016) and certainly lightyears behind cricket (which is popular throughout Asia, Australia, Africa, the Caribbean, and Europe). I’m not sure what part of that is WAY off.

            Baseball’s big mistake was not allowing its best athletes to go to the Olympics. If they were smart, they would have put an age cap on it like soccer did…make it an under-21 or under-23 tournament and I think that the IOC might have been willing to keep it because then the vast majority of the best athletes from each country would be representing their country. When you get to the level where the tournament is a bit of a farce (which it was), then it was looking for scrutiny.

          • Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

            Chris:

            While I agree with you that the US could put together a MUCH stronger roster than they have put in the World Baseball Classic, I still disagree that it would be a lock for the US to win the gold medal. This is in no way the same as the US Dream Team in basketball. There is MAJOR talent on the Latin American teams and the Asian teams play the game at a VERY high level. Baseball is a sport in which pitching and good defense trump offense. Japan and South Korea play fundamentally sound baseball, which will ALWAYS give them a chance in a one-game showdown.

            In a short tournament such as the Olympics, there would be several countries with a legitimate chance at the gold medal. If they were playing 162 games, then the US would likely dominate, but even then, I don’t think it would be on the level of USA basketball.

            Also, I never tried to argue that baseball is MORE of an international sport then cricket or even golf. I just think it has a place in the olympics over say, trampoline.

        • boing007 says:

          Softball yes, baseball no. I would say that softball adheres closer to the Olympic ideal of an amateur sport.

          Richard R
          Price is an oyster. Unfortunately not all oysters produce pearls.

      • Strummer says:

        This sounds like the argument for eliminating Womens Hockey from the winter games.

        ______________________________________________________
        “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

    • showey47 says:

      I’d like to know why equestrian is an olympic sport?

  25. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …for Me, the most profound Canadian individual and team performance at this Olympics was Christine Sinclair and the women’s soccer team …in My perfect World Christine Sinclair would be carrying Our Flag in the closing ceremony
    …but, the most appropriate and fairest must be trampolinist Rosie MacLennan, Our only Gold Medalist

  26. commandant says:

    The New Jersey Devils check in next, with controversial prospect Jon Merrill leading the way.

    http://lastwordonsports.com/2012/08/12/top-shelf-prospects-new-jersey-devils/

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

    • Chris says:

      My sleeper in New Jersey’s system is Wedgewood. I watched a lot of him in the OHL and that kid is a very strong goaltender, maybe the second best goalie I’ve seen in the OHL. Wedgewood has decent size, good positioning and a phenomenal glove hand. Shooters aren’t going to get much glove size on that kid.

      Of course, #1 on that list is former Belleville Bull and current Carolina Hurricane prospect Mike Murphy, who was just absolutely sensational without getting any hype whatsoever, primarily because he is a smaller kid. His 2008-09 OHL season was absolutely top-class goaltending…I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a goalie faster in getting back to his feet after going into the butterfly or sprawling to make a save. He remind be a lot of Jonathan Quick because of his athleticism.

      • commandant says:

        Hey Chris…. I agree 100% on Wedgewood. I’m a big fan, and I think he’s the best of New Jersey’s three goaltending prospects. I think he’s a future NHL starter. However as a 3rd round pick he does not qualify for my “sleeper” criteria which requires the prospect to have been a 4th round pick or later.

        I liked Murphy as Carolina’s sleeper, until he left the team as an and signed a contract in Europe this year. He will be playing for Spartak Moscow.

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

        • Chris says:

          Murphy wasn’t ever going to get a shot with Cam Ward ahead of him. Spartak might be a good choice: he can go over, boost his profile with some solid play, and perhaps get an offer. He’s still young enough that this sort of plan makes some sense. I would have preferred to see him sign in Finland or Sweden from a developmental point of view, as I think those leagues get more credibility for goaltender development, but you can’t fault the guy for going where the better money is.

  27. punkster says:

    Apropos of nothing…awesome little trio backing Lee Morgan who was 21 when this was taped…and who was gunned down in a club one night at the age of 33 by his jealous wife.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUrjoTF8XyM

    ***Subbang Baby!!!***

    • boing007 says:

      Lee Morgan: Sidewinder. Clifford Brown: A Night in Tunisia. With Art Blakey. Three great instrumentalists. Among others, of course.

      Richard R
      Price is an oyster. Unfortunately not all oysters produce pearls.

  28. SmartDog says:

    Just saw “The Dark Knight Rises”.

    Pretty good! A fantastic opening sequence…. and a really interesting and nasty villain who gives Batman a real run for his money. The “Batman story” has that meandering quality you get in some of these hero movies but absolutely worth seeing IMHO overall for the action and some pretty spectacular effects scenes.

    Oh yeah. And Anne Hathaway looks pretty good in a catsuit. Roowwrr!
    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  29. habsfan0 says:

    Training camp starts in exactly 1 month…September 12th.

    Lockout or no lockout.

  30. Frightening……that picture……must you?

  31. Sean Bonjovi says:

    So now they tell me!
    Just as the olympics are ending I discover that taekwondo is the coolest sport to watch. Allow me to explain:
    1. Body blows are worth points, but a kick to the face is worth more points
    2. They use instant replay to get the calls right
    3. Sudden death overtime (figuratively)
    4. As I understand it, when judging is required the decision goes to the fighter who most aggressively tried to score points with the coolest moves.

  32. JohnBellyful says:

    Awfully quiet around here. Was there a rally somewhere?

    HabSupporter 354093X August 10, 2012 at 10:25 pm
    … Yeah, it’s kind of eerie.

    ……Wally_Wingnut August 10, 2012 at 10:027 pm
    …… Well, it is Saturday night, guys, some people have a life

    ………Pucksly August 10, 2012 at 10:28 pm
    ……… I don’t. Anyone want to play I Spy?

  33. Boomer says:

    article about Galchenyuk. looks like it’ll be Sarnia next year
    http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=639596

    Occupation: Professional Hedonist… aiming low and exceeding expectations ;)
    Hobo with a laptop

    • Strummer says:

      A player that highly regarded and highly drafted by team that finished so badly in the standings should be playing with the big club until at least he hits the maximum number of games allowable before they can return him to Sarnia.

      ______________________________________________________
      “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

  34. HabinBurlington says:

    Any chance GBR chooses Mo Farah to carry the flag in for the closing ceremonies? What a couple of great performances this guy has had.

  35. HabinBurlington says:

    For all those who miss the Ole’s at the Bell Center, watching the Ireland vs. Great Britain boxer, the crowd has been sining Ole’s through the match!.

  36. twilighthours says:

    Wow Canada DQed in the 4×100 for a lane violation

  37. habitunts1 says:

    NHL season please commence! How I yearn to hear the Ole’s Ole’s Ole’s at the Bell Centre. Enough of this greedy bickering.. someone sacrafice please!

    #10

    • JayK-47 says:

      Isn’t that an amazing lil article?

      Collberg – Galchenyuk – Gallagher
      Pacioretty – Desharnais – Bozon
      Hudon – Eller – Leblanc
      Geoffrion – Engqvist – White

      (Quailer, Bournival, Holland, Vail, Dumont)

      Subban – Gorges
      Beaulieu – Tinordi
      Ellis – Thower

      (Pateryn, Dietz)

      Price

      I really don’t care if there’s a lock-out now. For the first time since the Habs drafted Koivu, I feel like there’s hope.

      (full disclosure: I thought Terry Ryan was gonna kick ass on Saku’s wing.)

  38. 24 Cups says:

    I have a question. How in the world are they giving out medals for a bogus event like taekwondo? Especially seeing all the skill, training and effort that goes into water, gymnastic and track events. My wife and I sat is disbelief yesterday as we watched this travesty.

    And while I’m at it, you can add wrestling to the list of crappy events. I get the long history involved but maybe it’s time to take another look. You can also add those dirt bike events to the list.

    This is the Olympics, not the CNE.

    • twilighthours says:

      Now that is a rant. Just as much time goes in to preparing for taekwondo or bmx racing as swimming. Why shouldn’t they be events? It’s all about the best in athletics.

      • 24 Cups says:

        “It’s all about the best in athletics.”

        My point, exactly. The Olympics should be for true athletes, not somebody playing a kid’s game!

        I know I’m alone on this opinion but I’m fine with that.

        Rant over!

      • boing007 says:

        It’s all about marketing. If there’s a big enough market for a new sport and the audience is there to support it then the Olympics Committee will give it serious consideration even if it doesn’t really fit the theme of a traditional Olympic sport.

        Richard R
        Price is an oyster. Unfortunately not all oysters produce pearls.

    • Chris says:

      If anything, swimming is the sport that needs to ditch events. Who in the heck has ever swam butterfly except for athletic competition? That is something like creating a new 100 m dash where the runners have to windmill their arms while they run.

      Swimming has way too many events.

      That isn’t to say that some of the other events might not be good candidates to be trimmed, but swimming is the most grossly over-represented sport in the Olympics.

    • JUST ME says:

      They give medals for horse training so at least taekwondo is about human abilities wich you and i will never be even close to get.

    • Stuck_in_To. says:

      Re. TKD:

      Perhaps this is like the Americans being unable to follow the puck … you don’t know what you are watching and cannot see it.

      My boys study under numerous instructors whom have gone to the games. They are as fine athletes with uncommon control over their bodies and power as any I have seen in other sports and, for the most part, more so.

    • Chris says:

      Don’t watch fencing, then… :)

  39. JohnBellyful says:

    This CBA stuff is certainly divisive.
    I know I’m torn.
    I don’t know whether Bettman should be tarred and feathered, or drawn and quarterered.

  40. rhino514 says:

    Where/when can we see the 2012/2013 weight for habs players/prospects. Curious to know if anyone has beefed up (LL, Diaz, et al)

    • otter649 says:

      Probably have to wait until physicals/fitness tests etc are done before training camp starts…..

    • commandant says:

      The numbers come out after the physicals at the start of training camp. Unfortunately the numbers reported by most NHL teams are inaccurate. Its just a fact of hockey (most sports actually). The ONLY time in a player’s entire career we get accurate numbers is the NHL draft combine, and considering those are 17-18 year old kids still grown and developping, they get outdated quickly.

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

  41. rhino514 says:

    According to Forbes, only three teams, the Leafs, Habs, and Rangers make immense profit. Only about a half a dozen teams make between 10-20 million. The majority of teams actually lose money.

    http://www.forbes.com/nhl-valuations/list/

    With league revenue rising, forcing small market teams to spend to a higher cap floor, it is pretty clear if you look at the list that the majority of teams would continue to lose more and more if there aren´t major changes.

    Revenue sharing is not the main answer. While there should be a bit more revenue sharing, there simply aren´t that many teams making large enough profits to compensate for the league. How much of Montreal´s, T.O´s, N.Y´s profit should go to the rest of the league? I have no idea what the actual figure is (I´ve read it somewhere) but I doubt that it should be more than 15% or so. I don´t believe healthe organisations be penalized for being run well and being successful.
    I think if you have at least ten teams or so doing really well and roughly the same number of teams doing bad, it makes sense to beef up revenue sharing. But if you look at the list, the overall health of the league is not great. It´s not terrible, as it was prior to the last lockout, but if things continue, in 3 or 4 years, most teams which are not huge market teams would be generating losses.
    I think if you do away with tha cap floor, this at least gives teams control over their financial situation. It´s not the perfect solution because you end up with some teams not being able to compete, but then again, there has never been, nor should there be, perfect parity in any major sports league. And I think those teams would still be able to compete because of the draft system, which in hockey is a great compensator to weaker teams. And as it stands now those teams at least can keep their stars a considerable amount of years before UFA.
    So I think a 50/50 split, with possible an elimination of the cap floor, and slightly enhanced revenue sharing could work. There are other things that could be tinkered with. Maybe one year more of service before UFA, etc.
    I´m also quite impressed by the figures for the Oilers and wonder how they manage to post sizeable prfits despite being in a small market. Looks like a well run organisation.

    • commandant says:

      Forbes is

      1) Notoriously wrong. Court filings of actual team financial documents in the bankruptcies of the Dallas Stars and Phoenix Coyotes show that Forbes estimates are horrible. Remember the guys who write these are fulltime financial analysts who spend like one week a year analyzing each professional sports league and then go back to writing about about the business world. The estimates have been proven time and time again.

      Secondly, Forbes only uses operating income… NOT PROFIT as their calculator. This is again inaccurate by its very nature and does not factor in the capital gains the owners get by owning these teams.

      Thirdly, its a one year look at many teams. Things can change very quickly to the point were you can lose 2 million in a year you miss the playoffs and make 10 million in a year you make it. With 16 teams making the playoffs/30… .you need to look at non-playoff teams and ask… are they close to breaking even without making it? If they are close enough without getting in, the law of averages suggests they will make money in the long run as profits from playoff years will overshadow losses in non playoff years.

      Based on these numbers, how much they could improve with a sensible revenue sharing system, and the capital gains that are typically experienced league wide…. the only two teams that could not survive with better revenue sharing numbers are phoenix and columbus…. thats it. This would be reasonable revenue sharing which is not what we have now.

      When the New York Islanders, Anaheim Ducks, and Florida Panthers can’t qualify for Revenue Sharing, when the Phoenix Coyotes will be disqualified in less than 2 years. There is something wrong with the system in place today.

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

    • Garbo says:

      Or, eliminate the small market teams and/or move them to markets that will make money.

      The league is too big.

  42. HardHabits says:

    I would just like to say that I have kicked the habit. To hockey or not to hockey. Que sera, sera.

  43. Un Canadien errant says:

    Ellen Etchingham on the powerlessness fans feel before the approaching lockout.

    http://blogs.thescore.com/nhl/2012/08/10/love-loss-and-the-lockout-qasaid-for-hockey-fans/

  44. Un Canadien errant says:

    Cam Charron of Backhand Shelf blogs, analyzing the goals for and against differential of the Canadiens and Oilers, and finding that they should have finished higher in the standing than they did.

    The funny thing with Montreal is that while they can stand to improve, they were 14th in the league in defence last season and 19th in offence. Sure, that isn’t amazing, but that doesn’t equal up being 29th in wins without some serious bad luck.

    For Edmonton, they were 28th in the league in wins, but 19th in offence (tied with the ‘Habs at 212 goals) and 23rd in defence. I’m not saying they should compete for a playoff spot anytime soon, but to figure out exactly how much of a push they need, we need of figure out how far back they are.

    http://blogs.thescore.com/nhl/2012/08/10/pythagorean-expectation-or-maybe-the-oilers-arent-horrible-after-all/

    ———————————————————————–
    This isn’t “Billionaires vs. Millionaires.” Only a willfully uninformed fool would apply that sloppy shorthand designation to this disgraceful power grab crafted by some of the wealthiest individuals and corporate entities in North America aimed against professional athletes.–Larry Brooks of the New York Post

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  45. The Dude says:

    Well I’m not going to blame one side for being greedy when both sides are (except for the blue collar and makes bottom end money’s type athlete). ” Screw them all and use G-Love as the bit!” Ever since money corrupted the game it’s been garbage…………

  46. HabinBurlington says:

    Interesting development in Windsor as it relates to the Spitfires.
    http://sports.nationalpost.com/2012/08/11/windsor-spitfires-deny-any-wrongdoing-after-400000-ohl-fine/

    They received a hefty fine and have lost some significant draft picks.

    • commandant says:

      The draft pick losses are huge, and will hurt the organization for a long time. Draft picks are so important in the OHL, its where you replenish your talent as it all graduates.

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

      • JoeC says:

        I have a cousin that was told by someone in the Spitfire organization to say he was going to play in US college so he would fall in the draft to be picked up by them later. Im sure this kinda crap goes on for each team, but im just saying what ive seen in person happen in the OHL.

    • Boomer says:

      WOW. Too bad they won’t say exactly what happened. Must have been a jaw dropper for that kind of punishment. Wonder if Vail is one of the player’s they won’t mention.

      Occupation: Professional Hedonist… aiming low and exceeding expectations ;)
      Hobo with a laptop

      • commandant says:

        Its probably the guys they brought in that made the stacked team to win the back to back mem cups… especially the ones who renegged on NCAA commitments.

        Its a curious strategy for the OHL. Here you are in a major talent war with the NCAA, and you are punishing teams for breaking rules to try and get that talent in to the league. Does enforcing these rules really help the league long term? I don’t know.

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

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          The problem might be that teams that have advantageous geographical locations, such as Windsor over Thunder Bay, or the Portland Winter Hawks over teams like the Prince George Cougars, can entice US or NCAA players better already, and especially if there are additional incentives. That might create a tilted playing field.

          ———————————————————————–
          This isn’t “Billionaires vs. Millionaires.” Only a willfully uninformed fool would apply that sloppy shorthand designation to this disgraceful power grab crafted by some of the wealthiest individuals and corporate entities in North America aimed against professional athletes.–Larry Brooks of the New York Post

          http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

          • commandant says:

            Absolutely… but that is the question, do you want your league to have the best players… or do you want an even playing field for all teams? Thats an internal battle in the OHL.

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

          • otter649 says:

            Going back a few years – Sam Gagner was going to be a top pick in The OHL draft but made it known he was going to USHL & then USA University Hockey so he dropped in the draft (4th round) anyways London drafted him well beyond where he should have gone & when London gave his father Dave a job with The Knights – Sam decided to play junior hockey in Canada…….

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            Interesting story about Sam Gagner. In profiles on Mike Matheson, it was revealed how careful he was to explain to LHJMQ that he had decided NCAA hockey was the best option for him, and that he wasn’t gaming the system to avoid going to Baie Comeau or Rimouski, that he wouldn’t have a ‘change of heart’ if Blainville drafted him.

            Commandant, good point about what is the vision of the OHL. Do they want to become a Gary Bettman-inspired league where there are no dynasties and every team has a chance every year, or go the way of the NBA, which despite the best efforts of its commissioner is turning into a league with three to five perennial powers and two dozen punching bags and farm teams to serve them?

          • commandant says:

            The Gagner situation is common. Galchenyuk’s father is an assistant in Sarnia.

            But I don’t think that is a violation of any OHL rules either.

            Think about it. You hired a former NHL star as an assistant coach. That shouldn’t be an issue… its just good management to hire Dave Gagner as an assistant.

            Yes, clearly it influenced Sam Gagner, but its not like they are giving a job to some beer leaguer in order to attract the guys kid. He’s a legitimate hire at the junior level.

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

          • otter649 says:

            London played the father/family card on Sam & it worked hired his father with no coaching experience and his Dad I believe has not coached since leaving The Knights after coaching for two years with Sam playing one year for London……..

          • commandant says:

            Are you saying that Dave Gagner was not qualified to be an ASSISTANT COACH in the OHL because he had no previous coaching experience?

            Its simply not true.

            Look a the number of former NHL players who get Assistant coaching positions at higher levels, or get head coaching jobs in the CHL, with no coaching experience.

            Dave Gagner as an NHL star absolutely was qualified for the position given.

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

  47. HabinBurlington says:

    Wow, Mexico with a goal at 21 seconds into the game against the heavily favoured Brazilian squad. Should make for a great gold medal match.

  48. commandant says:

    Today’s Top Shelf Prospects features the Nashville Predators

    http://lastwordonsports.com/2012/08/11/top-shelf-prospects-nashville-predators/

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

    • HammerHab says:

      Love these articles commandant. With Nashville’s stellar track record with regards to goaltending prospects how do you rank Nashville’s prospect ‘tenders, notably Magnus Hellberg?

      ———————————–

      It’ll always be Habs Inside/Out to me

  49. Happy Saturday morning folks! Yes, I’m also fed up with the billionaire owners who couldn’t give spit about their fans unless it factors into their teams ability to earn a profit and with Hockey as a sport only slightly more interesting than North American soccer, you would think the NHL would be on a fan gathering stampede instead of working with their Commissioner to throw darts at the players.
    Really, both sides are in it for the money which we pay. That’s clear, what isn’t understandable is how the weaker teams are even bothering to play on with 1/3 full stands and cheap tickets for the rest. You can go see a game at Nassau Coliseum for $10. Try to do that at the Bell center the day of the game.
    So the modern league will be filled with work stoppages and the fans are an afterthought. I saw one poster yesterday remark that we should be heard, but until we consistently hurt the wallets of the owners that matter, Montreal, Boston, Toronto, Chicago, Detroit and a few others, it won’t matter sadly.
    Consider also the vast difference in ridiculous salaries for baseball players ($20 million plus per year) to stand around and scratch their cups and spit in the sand. Then, there is basketball which is equally ridiculous and the tickets are just as stupid, yet the games go on with stoppages like the recent NBA. Now I’m not a fan of either sport with the ego’s and especially in baseball, slow play and diva attitudes, but there is something broken in fandom and sportdom and I don’t see it getting fixed anytime soon.
    I’ll be watching the bulldogs play this year and if the players want to pressure the owners after the owners themselves look so hypocritical offering $100 million contracts then crying poor, they players should en mass start signing-up contingent contracts to play all over the world which would be a big middle finger to the owners who need their fannies paddled more than the spoiled players that get clobbered every night for a sport they love to play with few exceptions.

    Promote the Youth, Support From The Veterans and Remember the Heritage!

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      I think we’ll see players playing over in Europe again. Like you said, we’ll have the Bulldogs and the AHL to watch plus the CHL.

      The CHL is great. I had a chance to go to a lot of Ottawa 67s games last year and got to see a lot of great young players from the 67s and the visiting teams. I saw Tinordi, Yakupov and Scheifele to name a few. It is damn good hockey as well.

      The ticket prices are like $15.00 instead of $200.00!

      If the NHL locks out the players I’ll be quite content with the AHL, CHL and even the NFL. Not to mention the WJHC.

      • JF says:

        I’ll enjoy watching whatever junior hockey is available, but I’d also like to watch the Bulldogs. Most years, an occasional game is shown on CBC but nowhere else. I’m hoping RDS or TVA will pick up some of their games; or maybe TSN will devote some of their usual NHL time to the AHL. Watching online is nowhere near as good. But yes, if the NHL is locked out, there will still be plenty of good hockey to watch. The WJHC is perhaps my favourite hockey tournament.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          If indeed the NHL has a work stoppage, I can’t help but think both Cdn. sports channels will be looking to fill their schedules with some hockey. Have to believe either more Junior or AHL hockey will then make the airwaves.

          I will keep my eyes open as to any tv scheduling released by the Bulldogs and pass on.

        • 24 Cups says:

          Hey, Jane. I trust that your summer is going well.

          I have made myself a promise to not get caught up in any of this new contract strife. If the season begins on time, great. If not, I’ll pursue other interests.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Hobie this isn’t a new story but not sure if you had seen this story discussing the newest Bulldog Hagel and his excitement to play for his hometown team.

        http://www.thespec.com/sports/bulldogs/article/772343–hagel-happy-to-be-home-playing-for-the-hamilton-bulldogs

  50. HabinBurlington says:

    Wondering which classic Rock Bands are going to help close the Olympic Games? The Who and that other classic Band the Spice Girls :)
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/olympics/the-who-spice-girls-to-rock-olympic-closing-ceremonies/article4476327/

  51. HabinBurlington says:

    In a Eutopian world wouldn’t or shouldn’t the NHL Commissioner actually work for both sides? I do understand the owners have chosen him and have given him his contract, but in the best interests of the game it would be great if the Commissioner also had an understanding of the players perspective.

    Would a Wayne Gretzky, a Mario Lemieux or perhaps a Jimmy Rutherford type be a good Commissioner? All have been players in the league, a couple have been or still are owners in the league, and the other has worked as a GM for many years. I don’t want to get hung up on the names I have suggested but rather the concept of having a commissioner who understands both sides. As for being a lawyer, the new commissioner can hire as many as he wants to help him, but I see no reason for this person to be a Lawyer.

    • derfab says:

      We are the leadership problem. We give them the cash to fight over. We need to cut them off and down to size. Then again, it will probably happen soon enough on its own as kids with real ability play or watch and endless array of other sports.

      • Ian Cobb says:

        Because of the head shots, no team loyalties among players, no player loyalty among owners, greed and corruption, has sent parents in the millions around the planet away from putting their children into the expensive sport of hockey.

        The number of kids being registered into this great game has diminished by a third and falling. This wonderful sport is dying from within as kids are put into soccer and less expensive sports.

    • ed lopaz says:

      I think you are on to something. ADD a position but between the 2 parties.

      You have Fehr on one side.

      You have someone representing the owners on the other side.

      And between them, on a full time basis, you have a President who would be paid equally by the players union and the league.

      The “President” could be a full time arbitrator; someone who had the CBA on his desk potentially 12 months a year; someone who would be able to step in RIGHT NOW and arbitrate a binding decision.

      An ex great player who has ownership and management experience would be ideal.

      Mario or Gretzky would be perfect in my opinion.

  52. boing007 says:

    Bettman said, “We obviously have a wide gap to bridge on a whole host of issues.”

    Talk about mangling the English language.

    Richard R
    Price is an oyster. Unfortunately not all oysters produce pearls.

  53. Ian Cobb says:

    SUMMIT tickets are in the mail to all of you!

    Summit game tickets, News, Pictures and comments
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Montreal-Canadiens-We-Are-Fans-Summit/197390760316125

  54. derfab says:

    Simple guys. No hockey? I finallly will acquire the guts to submit to my wife and cancel my shitty cable. TV revenue is the key to this overgrown monster of a business. Let’s slay the beast by locking out Bell and Videotron en masse and wait for all of these greedy bastards to come begging. We could have CA (Cable Anonymous) meetings in the meantime.

  55. JohnBellyful says:

    So what will the players do over the winter if they’re denied the opportunity to play hockey? Find alternative employment, of course, that best suits their skill sets. Chara and Marchand could play the comedy club circuit as a ventriloquist act and be the only one of its kind with two dummies. Quick delivering pizza makes sense. Lundquist would keep busy as a model for GQ ads. I see Kaberle going on tour playing the lead role in “Anne of Green Gables.” Desharnais could find work as a bookmark.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Morning JB. Funny stuff. Of course Price can be a cowboy and I’m thinking since Gomez is from those parts, he could be a green horn on any of the fishing boats on the show “Deadliest Catch”.

      ———————————–

    • twilighthours says:

      I was thinking kaberle could find a role in an Italian kitchen, something to use while straining pasta.

    • boing007 says:

      Lundqvist plays in a R & R band with Johnny Mac.

      Richard R
      Price is an oyster. Unfortunately not all oysters produce pearls.

  56. TorontoHabsFan says:

    So here’s a question – if I’m understanding things correctly, every dollar that the players earn that is over the allotted percentage of overall league revenues goes into escrow, with an equal amount coming from each player.

    What happens to that money? If I recall correctly, players have been putting money into escrow pretty much every year since the lock out (I might be mis-remembering things though). There should be a pretty good chunk of money sitting there by now…

    • HabFab says:

      Escrow is paid out each season after the numbers are in.
      Rough Example; Salary Cap $70,000,000
      Represents players share of 57% of HRR
      Total HRR would then have to be $122,807,000.
      Figures are projected at start of season.
      A certain percentage is held back in escrow from the players pay (say 20%) during the season to ensure that the team makes the budgeted HRR.
      After the season is over and all the figures are in and revenue budget has been realized then the pay held back in escrow is released to the players.

  57. twilighthours says:

    Man it’s heated in here. I’m surprised at how passionate people are on this issue – who’s in the right, who’s not.

    Me? I just want to see some hockey in October.

    And one of buddies just took a 4 month internship with an NHL team, september to december. I hope he actually gets to work it.

  58. Seems to me that Bettman is in a conflict of interest. He does NOT represent the league, he represents the OWNERS.

    This should be a 3 way negotiation between the owners, the league and the players.

    I think the best placed individual to represent the league is Ken Dryden. As a former player, he held out an entire season for a better contract and so can see the players’ perspective. As a manager he had to deal with the Maple Leafs. He is also a lawyer and as such understands the legalities of negotiations. And as an author, he is clearly passionate about and understanding of “The Game. ”

    Is there anyone here who has better legal knowledge than I who can provide some perspective on whether or not Bettman is truly in a conflict of interest situation?

    • 24 Cups says:

      There is no third party, because there is no league as you refer to it.

      There are the owners and their GMs (management) and then there are the players (workers).

      One might ask about the fans but they are not part of the equation at the present moment. That might change further down the road.

      I know what you are trying to say, but it just isn’t realistic.

  59. Just about the only good thing about losing a year to the lockout will be losing a year of Gomez’s ridiculous salary…sounds fair to me!

    The greatest Canadiens and NHL news-site: http://teliopost.com/
    Twitter: @teliopost

  60. HabinBurlington says:

    Will be curious to watch how TSN and Sportsnet report the news of the negotiations over the next few weeks. I believe all the rubberstamping has been done (maybe 1 last stamp left somewhere) and their ownership of the Leafs will be complete. Perhaps we begin to see the impact of Media Giants owning pro teams.

    As for the negotiations, both sides have every right to try and negotiate for whatever they want since the old deal expired.

    I am not optimistic, but hold neither side accountable, YET.

    Owners have indeed signed players to ridiculous contracts, and we have also seen players sign long term contracts and watch their play dropoff significantly.

    We shall see.

    • commandant says:

      With the way the CBA is structured, and the fact the players can never make more than 57% of revenues, the focus on the absurdity of some individual contracts is a red herring.

      All those contracts do is raise escrow and change the division of the pie among the players. They don’t result in the league owners paying any more than the 57% they have to pay to players every year.

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

      • wjc says:

        I am confused, was that 57% at one time around 52% and gradually climbed up to 57%. Isn’t it based on NHL revenues?

        When revenue’s go don’t team budgets go up, allowing the players to make more money? Am I missing something here?

        wjc

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I am not sure why that is a red herring? My point is simple, the players and specifically their agents are looking for the big long term contracts as it provides absolute security for the players, add in No Trade Clauses and the players are secure and in complete control of their careers. But seems to me, MOST players when given a contract of 10 years seem to have a dropoff in their play. I don’t blame them, it is human nature to have a letdown once your work/job has been given ultimate security and certainty.

        I can absolutely understand why owner don’t want to continue giving out these long term contracts.

    • kairos66 says:

      Excellent point. Given Jim Balsillie’s experience in crossing Bettman I would also monitor the reporting of Quebecor Communications Inc and Sun Media Co. who’s owner is looking to purchase a team.

      Kairos66

  61. Sarrazin says:

    here is a petition against another NHL lockout if anyone is interested in signing it. For the Fans:

    http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/save2012-2013nhlseason/

  62. Steven says:

    I don’t see the sense in trying to blame the players or the owners here.

    Negotiations are a two-way street. No matter how you want to look at it(I.E.: Some people saying the owners are not working honestly or something to that effect), both sides are trying to improve their case. Could they just split it 50/50 and iron out a few details? Yes, but that won’t happen, in all likelihood(Unless it did?)

    I think the bottom line is that if things persist, there will be a lockout. And it’ll be on the players and owners, not one or the other. That’s what we should be thinking about.

  63. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …I say no need to panic yet …in mid-August …but !…

    ‘ ” From the owners’ point of view, that bigger picture focuses on salary reduction. “The fundamental proposal, our initial proposal, is that we need to be paying out less in player costs,” Bettman said. Lowering players salaries make up, in Bettman’s words, “the fundamental economics” of the owners’ position. ‘

    …Gary has a keen sense of humor …doesn’t he ?
    …He would have an outstanding career as a stand-up comedian in the Catskills
    …yup, the guy is a yuk a minute

  64. Kooch7800 says:

    If there is a strike it will be the third work stoppage under Betman

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Boys, boys, let’s be precise! There is no threat of a strike. If there is a work stoppage, it will be a lockout.

      lock·out n. The withholding of work from employees and closing down of a workplace by an employer during a labor dispute. Also called shutout.

      strike n. A refusal to work organized by a body of employees as a form of protest, typically in an attempt to gain a concession or concessions…: “local workers went on strike”

      From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

      A lockout is a temporary work stoppage or denial of employment during a labor dispute initiated by the management of a company.[1] It is usually implemented by simply refusing to admit employees onto company premises, and may include actions such as changing locks and hiring security guards for the premises. Other implementations include a fine for showing up, or a simple refusal of clocking-in on the time clock. This is different from a strike, in which employees refuse to work.

      ———————————————————————–
      This isn’t “Billionaires vs. Millionaires.” Only a willfully uninformed fool would apply that sloppy shorthand designation to this disgraceful power grab crafted by some of the wealthiest individuals and corporate entities in North America aimed against professional athletes.–Larry Brooks of the New York Post

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  65. JohnBellyful says:

    If there is a lockout, there’s no way all those players will be able to find work overseas, which could be problematic. If they don’t play competitive hockey of some kind next winter, they risk letting their skills deteriorate which would jeopardize their future earning power.
    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe there’s a Canadian Federation of Beer Hockey Leagues and it would make perfect sense if the CFBHL were to hold a national draft in late September. Leagues across the country would pay a nominal amount, say $50,000, to enter a lottery that would give the winning entrants the right to draft unemployed NHL players. The money collected would go into a fund to cover the much reduced salaries of the players who would be assigned to teams within the leagues that won the lottery. (Of course the players would have to provide their own equipment; the CFBHL is charitable, in wanting to help these young fellows prolong their careers, but it’s not a charity. Arrangements could be made to provide jerseys at a discount. They would still have to take their turn bringing the beer.)
    Such a draft could be done online. To make it interesting the players would toss virtual sticks in the middle of a dressing room and, well, you know the rest.
    (It might be the only way Gomez gets selected. Then again, he might turn out to be the most prized acquisition of all for any league, given his reputation for being great in the dressing room. Isn’t that the main reason why most of us played beer hockey in the first place, for the post-game camaraderie?)

  66. rhino514 says:

    I have a question: can any NHL player go to play in the KHL for a season in the event of a lock-out?
    Seems to me that the sceptre of the KHL taking away players could be something that helps prevent a lockout.
    If the owners knew they are not the only game in town I think they would reevaluate their demands considerably.

  67. JayK-47 says:

    Locked out season? Guess no more offer sheets or trades for 1st rounders until er’body knows whether the draft is going to lottery or not.

  68. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …all the angst for a delayed or cancelled season is a tad bit premature, don’t Ya t’ink Guyz ?
    …’things’ manage to work themselves out in the end
    …now, if this was October or November ? …to the Bastille !!!
    …but mid-August ?
    …take a Prozac

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Thanks HiS, I need an injection of optimism on this topic I guess.

      ———————————————————————–
      This isn’t “Billionaires vs. Millionaires.” Only a willfully uninformed fool would apply that sloppy shorthand designation to this disgraceful power grab crafted by some of the wealthiest individuals and corporate entities in North America aimed against professional athletes.–Larry Brooks of the New York Post

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

      • Habitant in Surrey says:

        …yeah Normand, bit premature right now
        …summer is for mellowing-out :)
        …by the way, do You know if Malcolm Subban was in nets for the loss against Russia today ?
        …Malcolm looked almost ready for Pro in first game, great size and confidence …great technique
        …perfect World, wish He and PK together on Our Team :)
        …I would not be surprised to see Malcolm knockin’ on the door to displace Rask in next 2 seasons

  69. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …just to get Your minds off any possible delay to the Season

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYAFoso0CLk

  70. Bripro says:

    OK I’ve been away a couple of weeks, and only put in two cameo appearances here.
    So I’ve opened up tonight for one final cameo (home tomorrow) to read that little Hittler and the NHLPA’s Arkadin are at odds.
    What a surprise!
    I said from the day Fehr was designated as their representative that you can kiss the beginning and a large part of the season goodbye!
    From the owners, claiming they can’t operate under these conditions…
    Give me a break! I thought a 50/50 split, although cliched, would be appropriate until the Flyers went out on a thief’s mission submitting an offer sheet that borders on insanity, on top of Butthead’s insistence on keeping a team in the desert, while forking over money that the owners claim they’re in dire need of.
    On the other side, agents are pushing their players to refuse money that most of us won’t earn in a lifetime (Hello P.K.).
    This league is a pathetic shadow of its former self.
    I’m disgusted with both sides.
    Last month, I was in a food plant to help enhance their productivity and watch while forty women packed boxes of fresh produce for $10/hour, of which they send home half.
    Never a smile left their faces, yet one has to assume that they live in squalor or pretty close.
    I’m at the end of a two week vacation which many have to budget to afford, yet these owners and players can write off with the interest of today’s earnings.
    Until someone paints them a picture that they’ll understand, we’ll be living through a hockey-related work stoppage every 6 to 8 years.
    I’m starting to sound bitter like Jack Todd, but I believe with good reason.
    The NHL….. What a joke!

  71. mark-ID says:

    For those of you living in Ottawa….Sidney Crosby went to the Goodlife on Queen street today with Matt Duchene….each paid apparently $15 to get in, lol.

    He goes to my gym, and I missed him….damn!

    “I think I may have found a way for us to get Griffey and Bonds, and we really won’t have to give up much” -Costanza


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