Former Columbus Blue Jackets GM Doug MacLean, now a co-host of Hockey Central at Noon on Sportsnet 590 The Fan, still thinks there will be an NHL season.
“I’m still optimistic that they’re not going to flush $3.3 billion down the toilet,” MacLean told The Gazette’s Brenda Branswell. “I still think they’re sensible enough that they’re going to try to get a deal done.
“I’m shocked that they haven’t been able to work this out. I really am.”
MacLean also sent a message to the NHLPA and hockey fans.
“I know the business side of the business and whether people want to believe it or not, there are 10 or 15 teams that can’t pay their bill,” he said.
MacLean added: “I know the league desperately still wants to get the 58-plus season in … That means a deal has got to be done pretty quick here. I don’t like the thought of a 48-game season. I think it takes away from the integrity of the game. But we may have no choice.”
You can read Branswell’s entire article by clicking here.
Meanwhile, The Gazette’s Pat Hickey writes that no one should expect a settlement to come out of Tuesday’s meeting between six NHL owners and a group of players, but adds that the session in New York should provide a clearer picture of how the battle lines are drawn in the ongoing labour dispute.
You can read Hickey’s column by clicking here.
The Canadian Press reported that the NHLPA said 18 players would attend Tuesday’s session, slated to begin at 2 p.m., including Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews, Ryan Miller, Shane Doan and Mike Cammalleri.
The players will sit across from six league owners: Mark Chipman (Winnipeg), Murray Edwards (Calgary), Larry Tanenbaum (Toronto), Jeff Vinik (Tampa Bay), Ron Burkle (Pittsburgh) and Jeremy Jacobs (Boston).
Neither commissioner Gary Bettman nor NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr will take part.
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)