Guy Lafleur’s take on the lockout

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Canadiens legend Guy Lafleur hasn’t given up hope on NHL hockey being played this season.

“I’m confident that they’re going to solve the problems, hopefully before Christmas,” Lafleur told reporters at a media event Tuesday for the Tour des Canadiens condo tower project adjacent to the Bell Centre.

“I really believe that they’re going to start in January. “

However, if the dispute isn’t resolved in November or December, Lafleur said: “I don’t know if they’re going to have a season. And I don’t think the NHL can afford not to have a season or any owners in the league.”

Lafleur spoke briefly at the event, where details were announced about the 534-unit condo development. (The Canadiens are a partner in the project.) But the questions directed at him afterward by reporters were almost all about the lockout.

Lafleur, who is in the restaurant buisness, said he isn’t the only one adversely affected by the absence of hockey.

“You reduce (staff) hours,” he said.

He also said he doesn’t think it’s “normal” that the players are making more than the owners. The two sides should sit down, finalize a deal and make the fans happy because they’re the ones paying big money to see teams play, he added.

 “What’s amazed me is you have maybe 75 to 100 players that are making maybe over $2.5-$3 million dollars a year,” Lafleur said.

The rest, he added, earn salaries between $1 million and $2.5 or $3 million.

“And these guys they don’t say a word,” Lafleur said. “They have confidence that they’re going to solve the problems. But a lot of guys that are (among) the 450 players that are playing maybe their last year or they have two years left and that’s going to hurt them a lot if they don’t finalize (a deal)

“These guys they should stand up and talk about their future because they might lose a lot on money in the two years they’re going to miss.”

You can read more about the Tour des Canadiens condo by clicking here.

Meanwhile La Tournee des Joueurs featuring locked-out NHLers playing exhibition games continues on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Chicoutimi’s Centre Georges-Vezina and there will be another game on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at the Palais des sports de Jonquiere. Canadiens players expected to take part in the two games include Josh Gorges, Francis Bouillon, Brian Gionta, David Desharnais, Travis Moen and Brandon Prust.

The AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs visit the Rochester Americans on Tuesday at 7:35 p.m. at First Niagara Center in Buffalo and then play host to the Toronto Marlies on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Copps Coliseum.  All Bulldogs games during the month of October will be broadcast on Montreal’s TSN Radio 690. Fans can also listen to and watch all ‘Dogs games online at

(Photo by Peter McCabe/The Gazette)


  1. Coca Cola Kid says:

    BTW with regard to those condos, what is going to happen to the brick my brother bought me in Centennial Plaze to commemorate the first game he, myself and my dearly departed father attended in 1973?

  2. M005E says:

    Just want to add Guy your looking good. Put on the skates and show the how it is done.

    Sorry for typos in last email.

  3. M005E says:

    i have coffe every morning with a room full of ONC NHL FANS ages range from 35 – 85 noone cares anymore, the bubble has burst, unless they come up with a new league strategy its over the NHL needs about 3 more nails in the coffin and it wont rise again. new league, new era, new ideas, NEW or NOTHING

  4. HabinBurlington says:

    With the MLB season getting closer to over, we will begin to see more and more dead nights of no sports on the Tube to watch. I do still hope the two sides can find an arrangement equally painful to each that they can sign off on. I really don’t want to go back to NBA basketball, used to love it, but in my day you weren’t allowed 3 steps on a layup or dunk.

  5. SmartDog says:

    I posted this, in response to Ian’s (uncharacteristic) pessimism, a couple of threads back… my thoughts on why the lock-out will be settled soon.

    I disagree with you Ian, precisely because of your opening point: the owners are in it for the long haul. With their last offer, the players have conceded that by the end of this deal, like most other North American pro sports they will be at 50-50. That means that the next deal is going to probably be 50-50 as well (there’s no way the players are going to go UP in percentage, anymore than the owners are going to let go of the cap). So the owners already have the MAIN thing they wanted – to reset the share structure more in their favor. Done.

    So that leaves the difference: honoring contracts that exist as they are. This will be brokered in some way. Here’s why. First, it’s in the owners best interest. With new provisions for sharing greater revenues with the poorer teams, the amount it will cost most teams to honour their contracts is less than they will lose in ticket sales for a few months of hockey. There are exceptions to this in the idiots that signed player for 8 or 10 years. But those are only a handful, and they can be voted down. (Why would Molson support one of the poor market teams he already has to prop up even MORE because of their reckless decision making?) And second, the players will bend more too IF the owners bend a little, which they will.

    The two sides will meet in the middle on this – and soon. Mark MY words folks!

    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • English is not a Crime says:

      Players have been signing contracts in Europe as recently as today, it sounds to me as though they are preparing to not have any NHL games for quite sometime yet. If they were getting close, they wouldn’t be doing that. The Owners have been resorting so some underhanded tactics, dropped the notion of trying to negotiate (not that they ever really planned to) and went directly for the PR war, they declined all three player proposals within minutes (not even enough time to read them) and that offended a lot of people on the other side. I don’t see this getting any better anytime soon, I see this getting uglier and uglier and we haven’t seen the ugliest by a long shot yet.

    • HardHabits says:

      The only people that will be bending will be the fans… and they’ll be bending over.

      • SmartDog says:

        Nothing new about that. The deal is close enough that it will happen. One of the sides will come up with a creative way to split the difference between them. My guess is small market teams – the ones who would have a problem – will get some kind of partial relief, or a lower cap might be put in place, or something like that. Alternately the players might give up something in return for extending free agency (though I’d be more surprised at that.)

        Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • ABHabsfan says:

      I think you are right, Dog. The players learned from the last lock-out that some of their membership will no longer play NHL hockey if a lock-out persists and these guys will make their voices heard. Darche and Campoli are two such examples. Players’ careers are short whereas being an owner has no real time limit; also for most owners, team ownership is not even their day-job! You would get more attention from owners like Pegula (Buffalo) if his rig-pigs went on strike.
      The players will hold on for a couple weeks more but I would wager there is NHL hockey by Nov 15; 30th latest.

      “man, I love winnin’; you know, it’s like better than losin’?”-
      Ebby Calvin “Nuke” Laloosh

    • kairos66 says:

      I am with you. Both sides are posturing for the camera’s but they are close and still talking.


  6. English is not a Crime says:

    Ah, got my tickets for the Subway Super Series game in Guelph in a couple of weeks (OHL vs Russia). Who needs the NHL (and it’s idiot leader) with all the OHL hockey I’ve got going on? At least they’re run by a guy that cares about the game, the players, the teams, the league etc.

  7. HardHabits says:

    So now trying to make up lyrics to songs has become the new line combos. Everybody and their aunt thinks they can just whip up a few words that have no rhythm or rhyme with the original and all of a sudden a few geniuses are made, all to the tune of back patting and high fives with brown noses wagging all the way up the HIO charts.

    I really don’t miss hockey. And after realizing today that sports fans are possibly less free thinking than the most fervent of religious adherents… I feel rather liberated… no… even enlightened.

    I don’t look forward to hockey’s return because it is already a tainted and corrupted product. Long live the lock out.

    • English is not a Crime says:

      Some people get a kick out of it, I just scroll past them (no offense, I don’t care about them so I just don’t bother reading them… no harm done to anyone that way)

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I must have missed JB and Cal’s Aunts post, guys can you repost I missed.

      • HardHabits says:

        Cal is JB’s aunt.

        • JohnBellyful says:

          This comes as news to me, and I’m sure Cal. Please tell me more. Is he — I mean — is she rich and dying? Am I in the will?
          This genealogical service you’ve furnished is most unexpected.
          I feel compelled to return the favour and offer what is admittedly only speculation on my part as to your ancestry.
          You have my deepest sympathies. 🙂

    • JohnBellyful says:

      Well, HH, I guess we deserve that.
      See what the lockout has done to us. It’s softened our minds and dulled our critical faculties. (Although, speaking for myself, I put more of the blame on diet cola.)
      Having contributed in no small way to the lowering of standards for HIO posts I am willing to accept your censure as a wake-up call.
      I will endeavour to provide more informed commentary and deliver greater insights than parodies normally permit. My hope is, in time, that I will be able to join the esteemed ranks of the HIO cogentry (remember that term?).
      Hah, who am I kiddin’.
      I gotta be free, I gotta be me, Daring to … Sorry.

  8. Propwash says:

    Not an official statement, but Kovalchuck might stay in the KHL .

    “Access Forbidden” gettin’ ya down?
    Hold down Shift while clicking refresh.

  9. JohnBellyful says:

    There was a time I lived and breathed hockey but it’s all over now

    It used to be we’d stay up all night long
    Watchin’ doubleheaders – now that’s all gone
    The league’s in a lockout, that’s no lie
    This worm has turned, now it’s their turn to cry

    Yeah we used to love hockey, but it’s all over now
    Yeah, we used to love hockey, but it’s all over now

    They took our love for granted, they took our hard-earned pay
    But greed is a monster so now they will not play
    It burns my gut that they treat us fans this way
    The table’s turned, now it’s their turn to pay

    Yeah, we used to love hockey, but it’s all over now
    Yeah, we used to love hockey, but it’s all over now


    When the players and the owners finally sign their pact
    They’ll soon get very worried cuz we ain’t comin’ back
    We found a new diversion we know won’t disappoint
    We now get all our jollies from smoking a big joint

    Yeah, we used to love hockey, but it’s all over now
    Yeah, we used to love hockey, but the thrill is gone
    And the blame rests with Bettman and his rival Don

    Mini-summit suggestion box: HIO Ordinaires’ jam session at Tailgate Charlie’s
    [Can anyone play an instrument? Does air guitar count?]

    — “A little dance, a little song, a little love – they’d get along.” —

    • Bripro says:

      Wow man…. (long toke….)
      That song’s like…. wow!

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

      • JohnBellyful says:

        Is it a Rocky Mountain High you’re feelin’? Or a Hamilton Mountain High?

        • Bripro says:

          Is there a mountain in Hamilton?
          BTW, I hear you’ll be there friday. I won’t. Sorry.
          My customer re-scheduled on me.

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

          • JohnBellyful says:

            Bri’, I’m disappointed. Disappointed you won’t be there. And disappointed you’re going to let a customer rule your life. The NHL didn’t get to be a three-billion-dollar business by letting the fans dictate how it should operate. Learn from them and someday you’ll be rich, too. Sure, the customer is always right, but if they’re right on Friday, they’re also right on Monday. Reschedule. He’ll understand. And if he doesn’t, do you really want that kind of customer. 🙂

          • Bripro says:

            😀 LMAO….
            For the money they generate?
            Naw, who needs money?
            If I could hire a little Bettman to run our fledgling company,
            then…. (I’d be broke. Can’t pay $8MM)
            Never mind.

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

    • Cal says:

      Excellent, JB. Geez, I have Heart of Stone lined up for tomorrow. It’s Dino Rock Days at HIO! 🙂

      • JohnBellyful says:

        When Dino’s ruled the Earth, those were the days.
        Maybe it’s time HIO ran a separate thread daily — the Music Box.
        Could even assign a different year each day (like they used to on the old Garry Moore Show). The year was … 1967. Or The year was … 1979.
        Hey, every time one of the Gazette articles from 1993 appears, we should dedicate a song from that year for that thread

        • Cal says:

          The 90s? Could be dangerous.

          • Bripro says:

            Too much techno pop!
            We might short circuit.

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

          • JohnBellyful says:

            Well, certainly intimidating. I can’t remember a single song from that era.
            Margaritaville? Sound Your Funky Horn? Another One Rides the Bus?

  10. showey47 says:

    Any links available for tonights bulldogs game? The sites i usually go to don’t have it.

  11. Ron says:

    Haha, Stubbs tweets that a Nashville paper says lil tits told them he was misquoted. Loves it in NA

  12. Bripro says:

    This is for the HIO gang…

    Hockey Frustration song no. 13

    Cue the music!

    Say it ain’t so, Jim please
    Say it ain’t so
    That’s not what I want to hear, Jim
    HIO has a right to know

    Say it ain’t so, Blondie
    Say it ain’t so
    I’m sure they’re telling us lies now
    There is no hockey show

    The league claims that our hero
    Players we admire
    Just don’t know how to go on
    They’re clinging to the dream
    Of a season sure to start
    But old hockey days are gone

    Bettman versus players may be falling apart
    The money is what’s at stake
    Don Fehr’s word held the season together
    But Bettman’s getting fierce

    Say it ain’t so, Burly
    Say it ain’t so
    We pinned our hopes on Bettman again
    And he’s ruining our show

    Priiiima donnas
    Do you think they’re gonna get burned
    John Bellyfull
    Don’t you think we’re gonna get turned

    Fans will get burned
    The Argos might learn
    It’s the Als turn
    No hockey to spurn
    What else rhymes with “urn”?

    Ohh, learn
    Turn, burned
    Ohh, burned, yeah

    Say it ain’t so, Habs please
    Say it ain’t so
    That’s not what I want to hear
    MT, tell us it ain’t so

    Say it ain’t so, Cal please
    Say it ain’t so
    I’m sure they’re telling us lies now
    And we’ve got a right to know

    The league claims that our hero
    Players we admire
    Just don’t know how to go on
    They’re clinging to Don Fehr
    Of a season yet to start
    But old hockey days aren’t there

    The CBA talks might be falling apart
    The money’s always at stake
    One man’s word made the NHL stronger
    But now no one wants to skate

    Say it ain’t so, Timo
    Say it ain’t so
    That’s not what I want to hear, Frank
    And I’ve got a right to know

    Say the season’s on, Shiram
    Please say it’s so
    They keep on telling us lies, Dog
    Say the season is a go…

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

  13. HabFab says:

    Pierre try’s to explain the “make whole” option. My math still comes up with almost 3 years at 57% to do it;

  14. Ron says:

    Pat Hickey tweets ” Do they know something we don’t ? La Tournee des Joueurs has decided not to schedule any games next week “.
    Just sounds like they don’t want to tie up rinks in case to me.

  15. HardHabits says:

    Two words. Honey. Badger. Google it if you don’t know what I am talking about.

    Know your meme.

  16. Ian Cobb says:

    Each day we will have a new face talking about the lost season, but this is going to be a dirty fight to the death boys and girls.

    The owners will win this fight and it will cost a lot of people big bucks, but they have to get this settled long term and the players will take more of a hit than they think.

    There are hundreds of contracts at stake long term other than players contracts. This will be a very long war!, with PR candies dropped by both sides to suck in the fans hopes along the way.!

  17. JF says:

    When the NHL made its last offer, Bettman gave Thursday 25 October as the date by which a new CBA must be in place in order for a full season to be played. Since then, the two sides have met for approximately 10 minutes, with the NHL walking out in a huff over the players’ three counter-proposals. Now all we hear is that the League has taken yet another step to alienate the players. Last week I was optimistic; now I think 25 October will slip by with no new meetings and on Friday morning Bettman will announce the cancellation of all November games. If this happens, I think we can expect no further attempts at negotiation until about mid-November, by which time the players will have missed three pay-cheques. Then the NHL will make another approach (or conduct another media show, whichever way you like to put it). If that yields nothing, Bettman will say he regrets that the players don’t seem to want to talk about what the League is offering and that there is no point in further meetings. Then he’ll cancel the Winter Classic. From that point, it’s just a matter of time until the whole season goes down the tubes. It’s hard to believe the two sides could be so monumentally stupid as to throw away an entire season for the sake of the comparatively small cash difference that separates them, but it’s becoming a real possibility.

    • Blondie says:

      I wouldn’t believe it possible if it hadn’t happened last time. That’s the worst thing about the last lockout. They proved to themselves that they could survive losing the season so they’re less concerned about it this time around.

      • JF says:

        But this time they have so much more to lose. Last time everyone felt that not only the CBA needed major changes, but the game itself needed overhauling. This time it’s just a question of dividing the spoils. Revenues are up by 50%, the average salary has increased by about the same percentage, the game has never been so popular in the States, and the League has signed a 10-year deal with NBC. All of this is at risk if the lockout drags on. Common sense suggests that the League will want to save the Winter Classic, the 24/7 television show, and the huge publicity window these events create, and that if they feel they can’t do that, they’ll likely be quite happy to scrap the entire season. But since when has common sense entered into this mess?

  18. Habfan10912 says:

    Why do I always cringe when Guy has something to say? In this case he didn’t say much to make me cringe.


  19. Blondie says:

    He makes a good point. I don’t think either side unanimously, or even mostly, wants the season scrapped. Bettman and Fehr will gladly scrap it – no skin off their noses and it helps establish their bona-fides as tough negotiators. Any solution is going to have to come through pressure from the so far quiet owners and players.

  20. commandant says:

    Lafleur always sounds like someone who is bitter that the money started really flowing in the late 80s after the Prime of his career was gone.

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

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I would be a bit bitter as well. May not be right to be so, but heck he is being honest.

      • commandant says:

        I would be bitter too, but the bitterness is misplaced.

        The bitterness always seems to come out against the players of today.

        It should be directed to the Owners of the past and to guys like Alan Eagleson who screwed the NHLPA over and kept salaries low.

        Just my opinion on it. The players of today did nothing against Guy.

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

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